Art Deco Textiles

With hit shows Downton Abbey and Boardwalk Empire set in the Jazz Age, and a new interpretation of The Great Gatsby on its way, we’re feeling a twinge of nostalgia for the looks of the roaring twenties!

At a recent visit to the Museum at FIT’s textile collection, I had a chance to view some of their phenomenal fabrics from the Art Deco era.

Poiret Rose Print

Deco Geometric

I am particularly excited by these quirky conversational prints from the late 1920s.  They’re all relatively small in scale, and invite comment upon closer inspection. The tire print is probably my favorite. Automobiles were still considered a glamorously modern mode of transport at the time.

“Mothballs & Sugar” designed by photographer Edward Steichen(!) 1928.

“Tires & Tire Treads” by Marshall Field’ & Co. Spring 1929

“Billet Doux” by C.B. Falls. Spring 1929

I was also very impressed by these beautifully embroidered French designs for clutch handbags. The couched braid technique used gives the items so much texture and luxurious sheen. The rich detail perfectly embodies the Art Deco aesthetic.

Design for an embroidered clutch handbag

Design for an embroidered clutch handbag



About Hanky Panky

In 1977, designer Gale Epstein created a hand-made lingerie set for her friend, Lida Orzeck, crafted out of embroidered handkerchiefs. The original designs were the inspiration for the company name, Hanky Panky. Blending traditional with modern glam looks, Hanky Panky is a fashion favorite of countless celebrities.
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