Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Edward Steichen- Art Deco Fashion and Photography

While in Melbourne traveling and looking for new jewels for Prather Beeland, I went to the Edward Steichen and Art Deco Fashion exhibit at the National Gallery of Victoria. It is an amazing exhibit of fashion and of photographs by the world-renowned Steichen, who is credited with being the first fashion photographer. Encouraged by mentor Alfred Stieglitz, Steichen moved between New York and Paris, eventually becoming head photographer for "Vogue" and "Vanity Fair." He was on the cutting edge, experimenting to create avant-garde photographs of actors and dancers, as well as fashion, and his images became synonymous with the glamourous Art Deco era. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the dresses - too fantastic for words! - mixed with Steichen photographs.

Jewelry was a crucial part of Art Deco fashion, and my absolutely favorite part of the exhibit was looking at each photo with an eye to how jewelry was used to complement the gorgeous clothes. Many amazing Art Deco jewelry creations can be seen in Steichen's photographs, as in the examples below. Fantastic to see the bracelets, earrings, and necklaces of diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and other popular gems of the era. These glorious jewels were worn with dresses made from the most luxurious fabrics, often covered in sparkle themselves. What a way to look! What a way to dress! See this exhibit at the NGV if you can. Jewels from my travels will be on Prather Beeland soon!

Dancers Leonore and Maurice, Her Jewels and that Dress- In Love, 1924
Dresses by Vionnet, Beautiful Jewels-Stacked Diamond Bracelets!, 1930