The Art Nouveau movement overlapped with late Arts and Crafts in the 1890s and early Modernism in the 1910, combining the exquisite workmanship and natural forms of the former with the innovative materials, forms and practices associated with the latter. Art Nouveau Fashion provides a fascinating introduction to the style, defining it and placing it in the context of design history by focussing on a number of important designers – Worth, Lucile, Paquin, Poiret – and key subjects such as jewellery and accessories, the role of advertising, artists as designers, and the relationships between designers and their clients.
Art Nouveau fashion daringly questioned conventional gender norms, presenting women with suits influenced by tailored menswear as well as overtly seductive lingerie. Fashionable corsets manipulated women’s bodies into increasingly artificial forms, while advertising seduced consumers with images of scantily clad models. The movement’s radicalism and eclecticism directly influenced the counter-culture of the late 1960s – inspiring boutiques in London’s Carnaby Street and San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury – and Art Nouveau fashion continues to resonate today. This book lays out the legacy of this fascinating movement using a wealth of unseen images and historic sources.
Hardback, 144pp, 130 colour images. Available from the shop at the V&A, and online