Salem Gold 1914;Anonymous;10 1/8″ x 7 3/8″;A,P; litho from Die Reklame

The Party Season is upon us; and we felt that showing vintage graphic art vignettes of serious party animals would be fun and edifying. In this instalment we’ll let the gentlemen have their moments (reserving, for New Year’s, the ladies in all their glory).

Our first dazzler above will serve to demonstrate how the thrilling blackness of formal attire can provide a feast for the eyes and heart within the scope of graphic design. 



Pan a la baule

A la Baule 1928;Raoul Dufy;9 5/8″x12″;A,P,Lithographic plate from Pan

“Non-stop eccentricities!” the tag line runs, for this supper club. Extravagance of costuming communes with entering a mysterious fantasy world.




Normandie Salon 1935;Paul Iribe;12″x 18 1/2″;A-, P; example of Iribe illus.

In a floating palace like the Normandie cruise ship, you’d simply have to aim high. Paying homage to the celestial architecture of the huge, sleek craft by way of fashion design, as telescoping into readily-encompassed graphic invention.




Arko 1901;Mihaly Biro;73″ x 49″; B+, L; Framed

Being a ladies man takes lots of attitude, self-delusion and a splendid wardrobe. Here the elevated style lends itself to satiric comedy as conjured by vintage poster art.



Chastel Apostolat

Entre Deux Crus/Similitude Apostolat c.1920;Andre Chastel;14 1/4″ x 28 1/4″

There is within the swirl of tuxedos a great temptation to be blasé to a fault. This delightful instance of cynical goofiness taps into the dramatic-design convention that overdressed, spoiled rotten entities lack sound and sober perspective. A lithographic means of taking the party home with you!



Sem Friends Meeting

Friends Meeting c.1902;Sem;19 5/8″ x 13 1/2″;A-,P

Another comedic convention being brought to graphic splendor by that great Belle Epoque illustrator who called himself Sem. I love the playful study here of the pitfall of trying too hard to be congenial in an auspicious setting. Graphic design tracing to the energies of theatre, and anticipating the energies of film.




Champagne de Castellane 1991;Raymond Savignac;23 5/8″ x 17 5/8″
Overcoming the stiffness and errancy of dressing up is far from impossible, as this charming Savignac champagne promotion is quick to maintain. Graphic design wittiness covers a gratifyingly wide range.




Great Skating Rink c1925;W. Fressinet;46″ X 30 1/4″;B+, L

Forgetting the fancy clothes—just enough—to the point of being supple and at the same time very sharp.




Pan Paul Portes

Paul Portes Tailleur 1928;Edy Legrand;12″x 9 5/8″;A,P,Plate from Pan

On the other hand, there is something to be said about formal attire providing sublime solitariness! This lithographic gem from the ultra-deluxe publication, Pan (1928), delivers to us a soloist fluent about popular ways.

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