Designs by Erte

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Design by Etre, Fashion Drawings and Illustrations from "Harpers Bazar".

Book Description
310 fabulous line drawings and 14 Harper's Bazar covers, 8 in full colour. Erté's exotic temptresses with tassels, fur muffs, long trains, coifs, more. "Imaginative and colourful... A fascinating glimpse into the development of fashion." — Arts Review (London).


Quaint text and dynamite illustrations of original fashion, June 7, 2000
Vogue editor Diana Vreeland once said that no one in the 20th century had a greater influence on fashion than Erte, this despite the fact that he worked for a competitor, Harper's Bazaar. That's an indication of just how revolutionary his work was for the times. Working with virtually no direction to blunt his creativity, Erte published paintings and sketches of ingenious fashions that are as playful and lighthearted as they are luxurious and exquisite. He envisioned modern women (from 1915 to 1926) as goddesses, ultra-chic stars, children of nature, and totally feminine creatures to be adored and exalted. His fashions reflect this, individualistic and charming, colourful and startlingly functional. The 8 colour covers and many B/W illustrations show insight into a dimension of fashion that one normally sees only on the show runways: the never-ending well of creativity brought to life by a truly inventive mind unhampered with concerns of marketability. Peruse the illustrations and notice allusions to gardens, paper-weaving, architecture, tennis, various members of the animal kingdom, ceremonial draperies, sailing ships, and flames. Dresses, coats, masks, swimming costumes, sleepwear, and gowns all ornamented with beads, fur trim, sheer draperies, corded lacings, silver embroidery, leather and straw. Practical? Not really. Mass manufacturing? Not in a million years. This is extreme fashion, the stuff of couture, such as would be worn to the salon of writers and intellectuals. Erte loved best to design for the stage, and the drama and fantasy of theatre is in evidence in each ornate illustration. Although for 3 years he produced designs for Altman and Bendel in NY, most of his work was strictly conceptual, and many readers of Harper's saved covers and sketches to muse over as they would an art history volume, as evidence of another world. Ignoring fashion trends, Erte generated innovative and outre designs that still amaze and delight those of us who appreciate true originality. I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in textile or fashion design, but also to graphic designers, sculptors, and those who really enjoy art for its own sake. This book is, in one word: luscious.

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