Although we have been closely attending to pochoir art deco fashion plates for decades, it only occurred to us recently that a large percentage of those gems activate fascinating interplays between the very well-dressed figures and the equally very-notable landscape. The little cadre of big talents producing this unique gift was not content to flash chic folk in chic apparel on sale, with perfunctory attention to the surround. Being very bright, they were well aware that our surroundings were far more complex than the foliage of the Arts and Crafts rural moralists of the 19th century. Here were city slickers the slickness (and toughness) of which could plunge to a new mystery. Consequently, our first instance has to do with a manicured estate and manicured figures humbled by powers nearby.

The ladies’ choice to stroll together in a civilized forest-property may seem idyllic. But the tag-line, “Let’s go back, it’s getting chilly,” could cover the problematics each one of them harbors. Though the vista is large, the question of smallness stalks them like a cold fog. (Seldom do men in tuxedos come off well in these renderings. Here the forest looks a bit too formidable to these delicate souls.)

Shark-tooth sails and the deadly seas come to bear upon a love sinking, for a woman who might once have seen the world as her oyster.

That full moon over another stately banquet seems to be the lady’s real consort, while the gentleman appears to have been placed in a subordinate role.

Pausing on some choice porcelain tiles before going in and matching their chic with the other guests and their hosts, he grabs a few drags on his cigarette to ensure he’ll be at his best; and she wonders if the night shore hasn’t put them all to shame.

The party taking some fresh air, and inadvertently being embraced by elements rendering them ghostly. Who, among that Who’s Who, will see in this a chance to become truly aristocratic?

A moment when the buzz-saws of the world at large infringe upon a settled life.

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