One of the joys of our work with vintage fashion graphics is encountering the assurance and brilliance of many of the major artists of the art deco era. Designers like, Georges Lepape, George Barbier, Andre Marty, Umberto Brunelleschi and Eduardo Benito, seem never to falter in their mission of presenting women at their most graceful moments.
But, through the years, we have occasionally been struck by imagery where the lady does not seem to be at ease in her finery. There is, I believe, a concern (far from mere carelessness) to insinuate a dimension of haute couture usually hidden away but revealing , if pressed, malaise far more modern than the bulk of blissfulness the trade expects.
Our first display of Carnival-in-Venice extravagance shows a rather underwhelming output of preening (in headwear that was a mistake) which exacerbates their not being well-prepared for the occasion, leaving them looking like spoiled children. Hopefully, in other contexts, they might show some poise. But what they’ve shown us, unequivocally, is that legendary experience is not primarily about material wealth. Continue reading