Everything Old is New Again

Vanity Fair Cover feb 2012 Hollywood Issue
Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue, Feb. 2012

There is something incredibly and indelibly elegant about Art Deco clothing. The lines are pure, the aesthetic is simple, and the appeal is enduring – so enduring, in fact, that many of the fashions of today can said to be inspired by the haute couture styles of almost 100 years ago…

Gazette du bon ton 1920s Fashion Art Deco
Gazette du Bon Ton, 1920s Fashion
Jazz Age Fashion Art Deco 1920s
Jazz Age Fashion

My grandmother was convinced that in the fashion world, nothing was ever completely new. She had a theory that every year designers would throw their latest collections into a giant barrel, one collection on top of the other, until the barrel was full. When the barrel could hold no more, it would be tipped over and the cycle would begin again. (I gotta say, while I didn’t always agree with her, in this case, I’m not entirely convinced that she was wrong…

Tamara de Lempicka Art Deco Artist
Tamara de Lempicka's paintings depict 20s glamour!

Art Deco was all about color – yellows and oranges and blues and greens – worn together in ways that were new and different. Fashion icons, and iconic fashions, came into focus in ways that would have been unthinkable twenty years previously… While the Belle Epoque was all about understated elegance, Art Deco couture seemed to say LOOK AT ME, NOTICE ME…

Holly Fulton Fashion
Bright, Chic & Geometric - Holly Fulton F/W 2010

My grandmother studied textile and fashion design in Berlin in the 1920s, and I’m pretty sure that she would have recognized this month’s Vanity Fair cover designs – in fact, she may have worn some of them herself.


  1. I think fashion goes in a 40-year cycle – 10 years ago, we were revisiting the 70s with the return of bell bottom jeans and wedge shoes, and today, we’re seeing 80s inspired lines with shoulder pads and stilettos. Every now and then, a throwback pops up, like 1920s art deco. There’s definitely a pattern.

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