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The Art Deco Era

“Art Deco” is a retrospective term first coined in the 1960’s to denote the prevalent styles in architecture, the decorative arts, graphics and fashion of the interwar years.

The pivotal moment for the style was the Exposition Internationale Des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925.  Parisians and visitors from all around the world were able to see an exhibition that promoted all that was current in design at the time – fashion, jewellery, fine art, architecture, interiors, the decorative arts, and graphics.

After 1925 Art Deco was to adopt a number of modernist elements – a paring down of ornament, more simplified geometric styles and less expensive materials were being used in manufacturing.

The use of bakelite for jewellery as well as for ordinary household goods became popular.  Women were becoming more independent and this was reflected in their “look”… straight bobbed hairdos and the wearing of pants.

There really was not any area of consumer goods unaffected by the style of the art deco period, whether it was transport, graphic art, furniture, fine art, advertising, china, glass, etc. 

The style is distinctive and unmistakeable – gone were the flowery and curvaceous lines of the art nouveau period to be replaced with geometric lines – stark in their contrast.

It is a very distinct style enjoying a wonderful revival today as it did briefly in the 1960’s.