I’m excited to announce the launch of my brand new collection for Spring 2020! The Streamline collection encompasses a modern take on 1930’s culture, when the Art Deco movement flourished amid both tumultuous and progressive global events.
In the early years of the decade, following the excesses of the roaring 20’s and the 1929 Wall Street crash, one quarter of wage-earning Americans were unemployed. Drought and dust storms plagued the Great Plains, and much of the western industrialized world experienced severe economic adversity.
However, despite the enormous impact of the Great Depression, popular culture thrived, and the decade saw both artistic and technological triumphs. These included the extravagant epic movies of the Golden Age of Hollywood, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing across the silver screen, and the emergence of the big band era. The Waltz remained a popular dance and Swing became hugely popular. And the two dance styles merged as swinging to Strauss’ famous waltz, the Blue Danube, caught on. This was also the decade when Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, five years to the day after Charles Lindbergh became the first man to fly solo across the same body of water.
Architecturally, it was the height of the Art Deco movement (also referred to as style moderne in Europe). The decorative arts movement of the 1920’s had fully developed into Art Deco style in western Europe and the United States by the 1930’s. Art Deco moved away from traditional decorative themes, and instead reflected the industrialization of the time. Art Deco objects conveyed wealth and sophistication and often featured a ‘streamlined’ look. Symmetry, clean lines, motif repetition and industrial materials such as chrome and stainless steel were in common usage.
The 1930’s also brought the construction of the tallest skyscrapers the world had ever seen, built in the Art Deco style. In New York City alone, iconic landmarks of the 30’s include the Chrysler Building, the Empire State building and Rockefeller Center.
For those who withstood the financial ravages of the Great Depression, luxury train travel was at its peak. First class carriages were a home away from home with overstuffed lounge chairs, velvet curtains, crystal goblets and fine cuisine. The Orient Express, originally running from Paris to Constantinople (now Istanbul) was considered the height of luxury. It was also the setting for Agatha Christie’s novel Murder on the Orient Express, which features her fastidious Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot.
Our Streamline collection embraces the cultural icons of this era in three new patterns – Orient, Hercule and Waltz. Our Streamline patterns are available across a brand new collection of linen cotton throw pillows and tea towels, in a variety of color combinations. And we’re looking forward to bringing you more brand new items in the coming months!
Photography: Jane Dent Grady
Clockwise from top: The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal I 1930s Red Teapot by Hall China I Chrysler Building & Empire State Building in New York City I New England Power Building in Boston.