The 1930s has always been a passion - since i was in my early teens... art deco furniture, art deco architecture, innovative bias cut dresses, ground breaking films - it's a dream world! (I was born in the wrong era...)
Nowadays, the 1930s is often described as a 'design decade' or the most stylish of the century. Attention was turned towards simple and functional design and was influenced by the 'modernism' movement. A recent visit to the Museum of Textile and Fashion in London, which currently has an exhibition on 1930s fashion (blog post to follow), had many wonderful displays. One was a film from the era about interior design. Apart from being exquisitely stylish - the majority of the narration concentrated on simplicity and everything having its place. No clutter. Organised. Beautiful in its simple lines and functionality. This was true of many fields of design in this decade but this look was also reflected in the way fashion and print evolved during the decade.
You can't call 1930s fashion unfussy or purely functional - there were plenty of frills and flounces. However you can see how the style lines of the garments follow this idealogy and particularly in prints. The shapes used, the style of florals and the ways that the pattern repeats - all work well with the cut of the dresses. Geometric patterns were unfussy and pretty simple in many cases.
I have several books on 1930s and art deco prints and some original hand painted prints (see image below). A few items from my vintage garment collection i chose specifically for their prints and a few wounded birds that cannot be worn anymore but preserved for the print.
Now that we have been able to get our own prints made - which completely opened up design opportunities for me - I am enjoying designing and adapting prints that we own. Below is one of my absolute favourites - the poppy spray print.
The poppy print is approx 7cm wide and is repeated both ways with a nice distance between each spray. This makes the print work really well on bias and medium sized panels. It's not too busy so the style lines are easy to see (which is important for 1930s dresses).
The poppy flower shapes are quite art deco and stylised in feel, having angled lines. The green stalks of the flowers are also quite stylised. Together with the colour choice of coral red, bright yellow, blush pink and ivory on the black - this, in my opinion, is a typical 1930s print. I just love it. I love how it works so well for autumn and goes with red, black and even gold.
We've had this design printed on two fabrics which we sourced so that they are as close as possible to fabrics used at the time. Rayon marocain and semi sheer rayon georgette (we are trying to ensure fabrics are sourced from sustainable suppliers - details to follow). We are making quite a few styles in these - the Ava, new Joanie bias cut dress, new Lana Peplum dress and several blouses. Some pics below.
For our full range in poppy spray - pls click here
To read more about 1930s fashion - pls click here