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Art Deco Design - A Preview


Un Manteau, De Madeleine Vionnet., Digital ID 817128, New York Public LibraryOver the next five months, I will be working on the storyline (case labels and object labels) for the Art Deco Design: Rhythm and Verve exhibition here at the 42nd Street Library's Wachenheim Gallery. The exhibition will run from September 8, 2008, through January 9, 2009. While the items on display are not numerous, 40 images from the Art Division's collection, one fine book binding from the Spencer Collection, and an original cartoon from Prints,they are highly expressive of the energy that permeates Art Deco as a decorative style. In pursuing the premise that Art Deco is a visually moving aspect of Modernism, I've begun to make connections with dress and other design of the period. Significant innovations in men's and women's clothing, undergarments, shoes and related adornment occured during the 1920s and 1930s.

Using images from the Library's collections, I'll start tracking some of the ideas and inspirations for fashion change that happened in those fast-moving decades. I think it will be eye-opening for many... The design by Madeleine Vionnet above is typical. She was one of Art Deco's first patrons, along with other haute couture designers. 

Speaking of eye-opening, I was searching AOL this weekend and discovered another piece of evidence that everything old is new again. If you look for the term Padded Butt Boxer Brief online, available also on eBAY, you'll find a male enhancement corsetry item that was originally used back in the 18th and 19th century by men who wanted to fill their skintight breeches better.


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