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Article

Michèle Lavallée

[Fr.: ‘new art’]

Decorative style of the late 19th century and the early 20th that flourished principally in Europe and the USA. Although it influenced painting and sculpture, its chief manifestations were in architecture and the decorative and graphic arts, the aspects on which this survey concentrates. It is characterized by sinuous, asymmetrical lines based on organic forms; in a broader sense it encompasses the geometrical and more abstract patterns and rhythms that were evolved as part of the general reaction to 19th-century historicism. There are wide variations in the style according to where it appeared and the materials that were employed.

Art Nouveau has been held to have had its beginnings in 1894 or 1895. A more appropriate date would be 1884, the year the progressive group Les XX was founded in Belgium, and the term was used in the periodical that supported it, Art Moderne: ‘we are believers in Art Nouveau’. The origin of the name is usually attributed to ...

Article

Alan Crawford

Informal movement in architecture and the decorative arts that championed the unity of the arts, the experience of the individual craftsman, and the qualities of materials and construction in the work itself.

The Arts and Crafts Movement developed in the second half of the 19th century and lasted well into the 20th, drawing its support from progressive artists, architects and designers, philanthropists, amateurs, and middle-class women seeking work in the home. They set up small workshops apart from the world of industry, revived old techniques, and revered the humble household objects of pre-industrial times. The movement was strongest in the industrializing countries of northern Europe and in the USA, and it can best be understood as an unfocused reaction against industrialization. Although quixotic in its anti-industrialism, it was not unique; indeed it was only one among several late 19th-century reform movements, such as the Garden City movement, vegetarianism, and folksong revivals, that set the Romantic values of nature and folk culture against the artificiality of modern life....

Article

German, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 14 April 1868, in Hamburg; died 27 February 1940, in Berlin.

Painter, draughtsman, engraver, architect, designer, decorative artist, graphic designer. Posters, furniture, wallpaper, carpets, glassware, ceramics, table services, jewellery, silverwork, objets d'art, typefaces.

Jugendstil, functional school.

Die Sieben (Group of Seven), Deutscher Werkbund...

Article

French, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 17 May 1754, in Lyons; died 24 October 1843, in Lyons.

Painter (gouache), watercolourist, pastellist, engraver, draughtsman, miniaturist. Portraits, still-lifes (flowers/fruit), costume studies. Designs for fabrics.

Berjon was the son of a butcher and grew up in the Vaise suburb of Lyons. He initially worked with his father; then, it is thought, he gave this up to study medicine, before learning to draw with the sculptor Perrache in Lyons. Eventually he became a designer at a silk manufacturer in Lyons, and began to paint. He often travelled to Paris on business, where he got to know several painters and became friends with the portrait artist Augustin. As a result of the destruction of the silk factory during the siege of Lyons, Berjon moved to Paris, where he lived in abject poverty for many years. He eventually returned to Lyons and went to work for an embroidery manufacturer and, in ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Type of lace made since the 17th century at Binche, near Brussels and Valenciennes, both of whose laces it resembles. It is a heavy lace with decorative grounds, and was used for bedspreads and as a costume trimming. The name has since become the generic term for the type of lace once made at Binche....

Article

Jan Glier Reeder

French couture house. Established at 24, Rue Thaitbout by three sisters, Marie Callot Gerber, Marthe Callot Bertrand and Regine Callot Tennyson-Chantrelle. The sisters shared an artistic heritage; their mother was a lacemaker and their father an artist and professor who was descended from the master draftsman and etcher Jacques Callot.

Maison Callot Soeurs rapidly became a principal couture house, along with the other great names of the period such as Jacques(-Antoine) Doucet, Jeanne Paquin, Charles Frederick Worth, Rouff and Raudnitz. By 1900 the sisters were already employing 600 workers and had participated in the Parisian couturiers’ famed first joint fashion display at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900. In 1914 they moved address to 9–11, Avenue Matignon and again in 1932, to 41, Avenue Montaigne. In 1917, they opened a London branch at 7 Buckingham Gate. The London branch was closed in 1935 and the business was absorbed into Calvet in ...

Article

Style rooted in 19th-century antiquarian studies of ancient Celtic art in Britain and Ireland. It was a mainly decorative style and first appeared in the 1840s, remaining fashionable from the 1890s to c. 1914 and lingering on through the 1920s. Derived from the complex, intertwining, linear motifs of ancient Celtic ornament, it was employed in metalwork, jewellery, embroidery, wall decoration, wood inlay, stone-carving and textiles. The Celtic Revival was closely related to the English Arts and Crafts Movement’s aim of social and artistic reform and was part of the general upsurge of Romantic interest in the Middle Ages. Its chief characteristics were raised bosses, tightly enmeshed roundels and bands of sinuous, criss-crossing lines, similar to but more abstract than Art Nouveau designs. Sources of inspiration were such Celtic antiquities as the Tara Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice (both 8th century ad; Dublin, N. Mus.), the Battersea Shield (c. 2nd century ...

Article

German, 19th – 20th century, male.

Active also active in France.

Born 6 March 1866, in Flensburg; died 5 January 1945, in Wiesbaden.

Painter, engraver, draughtsman, decorative designer, graphic designer. Portraits, landscapes, urban landscapes, still-lifes, flowers, decorative motifs. Designs for carpets, designs (furniture/posters/jewellery/book-binding).

Jugendstil.

Die Sieben (Group of Seven)...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Stiff cloth made with a warp of cotton or linen thread and a woof of horse-hair (Fr. crin). It was originally used for shoes and half-boots (bottines), and in the early 19th century for dresses and bonnets; from the mid-19th century it was primarily used for hooped petticoats, which came to be known as crinolines....

Article

German, 19th century, male.

Born 19 November 1865, in Hamburg; died 11 June 1902, in Badenweiler.

Painter, decorative artist, illustrator, engraver, designer, ceramicist, textile designer. Portraits, landscapes, flowers. Designs for stained glass, designs for tapestries, ex-libris plates, advertising posters, fabrics, ceramics, metal objects, ironware, lamps, furniture, typefaces, jewellery, wallpaper...

Article

Hungarian, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1877, in Budapest; died 1928.

Painter, draughtsman, decorative designer. Patterns (fabrics), stage costumes, posters.

Geza Farago was initially a fabric designer in a cotton fabric factory, then went to Paris where he was apprenticed as a painter, draughtsman and decorator in several workshops, notably at the Académie Colarossi....

Article

Sarah Scaturro

Technology influences the physical manifestation of fashion, affecting a garment’s appearance and performance. Throughout history, changes in technology affecting the production of materials and the manufacture of garments and accessories have spurred changes in fashion design. In the 20th and 21st centuries, technology has affected not only the look of fashion, but how the fashion system works.

Much of the relationship between technology and fashion centres on textiles. Looms often determine the size and complexity of textiles. Fabric woven on a simple backstrap loom has inherently smaller widths in reference to the size of the human body, whereas fabric woven on the drawloom can be several feet wide and contain more complex weave structures, which translates into more sophisticated patterning options. The drawloom process (which requires two people—the weaver and a person who ‘draws’ up warps at specific points to create the pattern) was mechanized in the early 19th century with the invention of the jacquard loom and its punch card system. Lyons in France and Spitalfields in England were two of the most technologically advanced silk-weaving centres....

Article

Lourdes Font, Beth McMahon, Cassandra Gero, Ann Poulson, Nancy Deihl, Lourdes M. Font, Deirdre Clemente and Clare Sauro

This article defines, describes and traces the history of the major categories of Western fashion design, with an emphasis on women’s high fashion.

The term ‘underwear’ refers to several different types of garment worn under outer layers of clothing. The first type is the basic undergarment worn next to the skin, historically made of washable linen or cotton. The English term ‘linen’ and the French term ‘lingerie’ (Fr. linge: ‘linen’) are synonyms for basic undergarments. The second type of underwear is a foundation garment worn to alter the shape of the body. The term ‘understructure’ also applies to these garments, which create or support the silhouette demanded by fashion at a given time. Although at various times it has been fashionable to reveal underwear at the neckline, sleeve or hemline, both basic undergarments and the foundation garments worn over them are usually invisible under the outer layers of clothing. Finally, there is a type of lingerie identified as undress; clothing that is worn only in private situations in the home. Although not considered acceptable public attire, over time undress frequently develops into fashionable outerwear....

Article

Lourdes Font and Beth McMahon

Fashion is defined as the act or process of making or shaping. As applied to dress, (see Dress) it can be understood to mean the making or shaping of the appearance of the body by means of clothing and adornment in a way that expresses aesthetic ideals that are continually subject to change. Like dress in general, fashion is a multi-faceted cultural phenomenon and plays an important role in defining social class, gender and identity. Fashionable dress, however, is distinguished by constant and rapid changes in style, transmitted through the representation of the fashionable ideal in visual art and media as well as through the direct interaction of individual fashion leaders. The word ‘fashion’ also indicates the global system of design, production and consumption of garments and accessories that are, for a limited time, considered fashionable and thus invested with greater social value (see fig.). The fashion industry today is a global system, but it has not always existed at all places and times. This article discusses the origin and development of Western fashion....

Article

Hermès  

M. B. Whitaker

French luxury goods and fashion house. Thierry Hermès (1801–78), a fine craftsman and artisan, opened a harness and saddle-making shop in Paris in 1837. It evolved into the House of Hermès, a world-renowned supplier of luxury leather goods, fashion apparel and accessories, fragrance, jewellery and gifts (see fig.).

Thierry Hermès’ dedication to quality, fine workmanship, and superior materials gained him a reputation as the most superb maker of harnesses in Paris. In 1879 the success of Thierry’s shop enabled his son, Emile-Charles (1835–1919), to expand the business and relocate to its present headquarters at 24, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. The house supplied riding equipment to the best stables throughout Europe, including those belonging to royalty, such as the Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie, and Tsar Nicholas II.

Adolphe and Emile-Maurice (1871–1951), grandsons of Thierry, vigorously spearheaded the diversification of Hermès products when the introduction of motor vehicles began to threaten business. Hermès expanded their offering to include luggage, handbags and sporting equipment. Until then no fancy leatherwork had been done by saddle-makers and the Hermès saddle stitch style was an instant success. Furthermore, the fittings of their leather accessories inspired the vogue for harness motifs and hardware in sportswear....

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1883; d 1935).

Basque–French cartoonist, interior decorator and designer, notably of furniture but also of wallpaper, textiles and jewellery. His early work is in an Art Nouveau idiom, but he gradually became a pioneering exponent of Art Deco. Pierre(-Emile) Legrain was initially his employee and later his collaborator. In 1914 Inbe moved to America, where he worked as a set designer, and in ...

Article

Phylis Floyd

French term used to describe a range of European borrowings from Japanese art. It was coined in 1872 by the French critic, collector and printmaker Philippe Burty ‘to designate a new field of study—artistic, historic and ethnographic’, encompassing decorative objects with Japanese designs (similar to 18th-century Chinoiserie), paintings of scenes set in Japan, and Western paintings, prints and decorative arts influenced by Japanese aesthetics. Scholars in the 20th century have distinguished japonaiserie, the depiction of Japanese subjects or objects in a Western style, from Japonisme, the more profound influence of Japanese aesthetics on Western art.

There has been wide debate over who was the first artist in the West to discover Japanese art and over the date of this discovery. According to Bénédite, Félix Bracquemond first came under the influence of Japanese art after seeing the first volume of Katsushika Hokusai’s Hokusai manga (‘Hokusai’s ten thousand sketches’, 1814) at the printshop of ...

Article

Lourdes Font

(b Paris, Jan 1, 1867; d Paris, July 6, 1946).

French fashion designer. The oldest name in contemporary French fashion, Lanvin began her career in 1889 as a milliner. Her career spanned almost 60 years and ended only with her death at the age of 79. Lanvin was a designer whose talent was nourished by a rich artistic sensibility she worked hard to nurture. In her combined office and studio, she surrounded herself with works of art, books, textiles and costumes, synthesizing diverse sources of inspiration to create her own style of decorative modernism. In the 1920s she was known for full-skirted robes de style embellished with unique embroideries, in the 1930s for sophisticated evening wear, and always for the finest, painstaking workmanship. Lanvin’s reputation for ladylike refinement, epitomized by her daughter the Comtesse de Polignac, won the house many high society clients. In 1936, she was made an officer of the Légion d’Honneur.

Lanvin, the daughter of a Parisian journalist, was apprenticed at the age of 13 to a milliner or dressmaker and at 16 was trimming hats at the Maison Félix, a rival to the House of Worth. In ...

Article

Pamela Elizabeth Grimaud

[née Melinotte, Louise; Boulanger, Louise]

(b 1878; d 1950)

French fashion designer. Louiseboulanger is credited with introducing a number of innovations, such as longer hemlines in 1927, and is recognized as one of the leading couturières of the late 1920s and 1930s. At age 13 she was apprenticed to a dressmaker, later becoming a première at the House of Chéruit. In 1927 she married Louis Boulanger and opened her own house at 3 Rue de Berri. She closed it in 1933, after which she briefly designed for Callot Soeurs until re-establishing her own house in 1934 at 6, Rue Royale. A stylish woman who utilized exquisite colour-sense and deft cutting, she created clothes for a sophisticated clientele, including the actresses Spinelly, the milliner Agnès and the socialites Mrs Reginald (Daisy) Fellowes and the duchesse de Gramont.

In February 1927, Louiseboulanger announced the opening of her house and the showing of her first collection with a full-page advertisement in L’Officiel de la Couture...

Article

Lucile  

Molly Sorkin

[Sutherland, Lucy Christiana, Lady Duff Gordon]

(b London, June 13, 1863; d London, April 20, 1935).

English fashion designer, active also in Paris and the USA. Lucile was the professional name of Lady Duff Gordon, who began her career as a London dressmaker and achieved success as an international couturière. Lucile believed in fashion as self-expression. She was gifted with an artist’s sense of colour and designed in a broad range of styles, creating clothing that was romantic, exotic and modern (see fig.). An innovative entrepreneur, she pioneered modern business practices and used her own fame to promote her couture house. She also played a critical role in the development of the fashion show and the profession of fashion model.

Lucile’s artistic talent was evident early in life and realized in the clothes she made for herself and her younger sister, who would later become the romantic novelist Elinor Glyn. Lucy married James Wallace in 1884 and the following year gave birth to her only child, Esmé. By ...