The design style known as art deco began in Paris in the 1920s and quickly gained worldwide popularity. Here in Vancouver, we see the art deco’s geometry-inspired style captured in the architecture of the Marine Building and the Burrard Street Bridge. Starting March 8, the public can also see it captured in women’s fashions of the 1920s and 1930s on display in Art Deco Chic: Extravagant glamour between the wars at the Museum of Vancouver.
“The garments chosen for exhibition have been selected because of their beauty and fine quality,” explains guest co-curator Ivan Sayers. “Some of the most important fashion designers in the world in the 1920s and 1930s will be represented.”
The fashion design of the era was a distinct departure from previous design styles. Drawing inspiration from geometric shapes to evoke elegance and modernity, it was also influenced by an increased ability to travel world wide – bringing inspiration not only from modernism, but from faraway places such as Russia, Egypt, and Mexico.
Visitors will enjoy more than 66 garments on display in this exhibition.
Notable Vancouver items include a black beaded gown worn to the opening of the Commodore Cabaret in 1929 and a red and gold lamé evening dress made from fabric depicting the battles of the Trojan War. Many items on show are exquisite designer dresses with labels such as Chanel, Lanvin, Vionnet, Patou, and Schiaparelli. To contrast these high fashion items is a piece from the MOV’s collection – a modest, yet stylish, navy polka dot dress made by the Aurora Dress Company of Vancouver around 1927.
The garments and accessories on display come from the private collections of Ivan Sayers and Claus Jahnke, as well as from the MOV and other’s collections. Handbags, hats, shoes, and jewelry will further illustrate the use of geometric shapes to create sleek, sophisticated designs.
For more information, visit the Art Deco Chic webpage.
The Museum of Vancouver is an independent non-profit organization which holds a mirror to the city and leads provocative conversations about its past, present, and future.