Last weekend, one of my childhood friends came to visit and I happily accompanied her to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As we made our way through Modern Art, I fell into a little piece of heaven otherwise known as the French Art Deco Collection.
Comprised of more than just the gilded, geometric style of the Chrysler Building or Cubist tendencies, this movement also bore tremendous growth in textile innovations. The designs of Paul Poiret and Raoul Dufy immediately caught my eye due to their clean, modern lines and M.C. Escher-like qualities. I love how their work was created almost a century ago and still manages to look fresh and contemporary.
If you doubt the impact of these two men, here’s what the Mississippi Museum of Art suggests:
“Raoul Dufy…was also one of the great innovators of twentieth-century textile design, though this aspect of his work has remained relatively unknown. While working with couturier Paul Poiret, and between 1912 and 1928 with Bianchini-Ferier (the leading French silk manufacturer), Dufy created a wealth of original Art Deco designs in silks, dress fabrics, and wall hangings. Dufy’s fabrics were stunning, and Poriet used them extensively in his fashions, creating magnificent coats, capes, and dresses in sumptuous silk brocades block-printed with large designs. Dufy transformed the face of fashion and fabric design, formulated practically all modern fabric design between 1909 and 1930, and his style radically influenced the popular arts and the commercial design of the Western world. Even today, his vision informs the color, design, texture, and imagery of a wide range of products such as book covers, perfumes, posters and stage decor, and textiles for furniture and clothing.”