Monday, 23 January 2012

Monday Muse: Erté

Last night on BBC Four I watched "The Boyfriend" starring Twiggy. Fabulous 20's inspired costumes and back drops that made you want to jump through the TV to take part in the sophisticated mayhem, sadly having to settle to a bit of a bop around the living room. The film must have cost a fortune to produce in the 70's. I would love to know what became of all the costumes, and whether Twiggy was able to keep one or two.
A favourite scene is captured on the record cover for the sound track, dancers on a large gramophone record in a display a kin to synchronized swimming. (source)
The film made me think of one of my favourite Illustrator's/Artist Erté.
       Erté: A Russian-born French artist, his true name was Romain de Tirtoff, better know by the French pronunciation of his initials, R.T, the name Erté was born.
Lavish, chic, risqué, sophistication, imaginative, an undertone of dark fantasy, fabulous detail, all wrapped up in a big stylish Art Deco bow. Erté designs inspired many forms: costumes, set designs for opera, interior decor, magazine covers for Harper's Bazaar, Jewellery, you name it Erté style knew know limits. 
Working throughout his life, and living to the grand old age of 97 in France, in his own life time a 1960's revival put Erté back into the spotlight celebrating his influence upon Art Deco. His style lives on books in and posters, we have a selection of postcards in Jamboree as pictured to the right.
One book I can recommend is a Dover publication Erté Fashion Designs: 218 Illustrations from "Harper's Bazaar", 1918-32, a lovely gift from my brother some years ago, a fab source of inspiration. Check out the amazon link for a peek inside. Their are also other books available - do you know of any you could recommend?

Looking at the illustrations I also wonder if Lady GaGa is a fan - what do you think?
One of my favourites.

I love the above image, it's as though a cascade of glitter has been set free in celebration.

I had never seen this image before, and simply said wow!

I was sad to see that Past Times is know more, they always stocked Erté designs on gifts etc. Used to love the Art Nouveau section to.

Are you a Erté fan?

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