The French call it Années Folles - Crazy Years - and it was.
Think of red lipstick and Betty Boop, Jazz and the flapper fashion, that boyish look, streamlined clothes for women, short hair!
Années Folles brought us such wonders as French Resistance Agent Josephine Baker and her famous 'Danse Sauvage' wearing a costume that consisted of almost nothing except some artificial bananas.
It also brought us Coco Chanel and her designs.
Many say it was the "Exposition internationale des Arts Décoratifs et industriels modernes", the great Art Deco exposition of Paris held in 1925, that launched the Art Deco style on the rest of the world. However in France the style started evolving very early in 1900, the original exposition was supposed to be held in 1915, but was postponed because of the first world war.
Just try to imagine the time between the First and Second World Wars. A time of change, both economic and social. People embraced new ideas, radio, automobiles, aviation, electricity. In the First World War women stepped out of the house and into jobs to support the War effort.
Art Deco is not just a style it was a period of great change in the way we looked at the world. Art Deco influenced the design of buildings, furniture, jewellery, fashion, movie theatres, cars, trains, ocean liners, and everyday objects. Take a moment to think of the change in the lifetime of your grandmother, or great grandmother. Cars, electricity, telephones! TV! the change in style of clothes, look at Victorian clothing compared to CocoChanel.
Even here, over 18,000 kms away, in New Zealand, we were affected by the Art Deco Movement. At 10.47am on 3rd February 1931 NZ's second deadliest disaster, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Hawkes Bay region, killing 256 people, injuring housands more, obliterating our world famous Pink and White Terraces and bringing widespread destruction of buildings. The rebuild of Napier in Art Deco style, fashionable at the time is celebrated each year in the Napier Art Deco Festival.
Our Art Deco pieces for sale