Jeanne Paquin, Gown, 1912 by Georges Barbier sent me back to the flamboyant time of the roaring 20’s, when economic prosperity brought artistic and cultural dynamism to the world. From Berlin to Chicago, London to Los Angeles, New York City to Paris, jazz blossomed, Art Deco was in the ascendency and the flapper redefined fashion for the modern woman. In France, the 1920’s was known as the crazy years or “années folles.”
Georges Barbier, born in 1882 Nantes, France, was to become one of the 20th century’s greatest fashion illustrators. The world was ready for his creative influence.
At the centre of an artistic evolution, Georges Barbier’s first exhibition at the age of 29, in Paris at Salon des humoristes in 1911 launched his career. His commissions included illustrations for prose and poetry books, theatre and ballet designs, wallpapers, glass and jewelry. His film costumes included designs for the silent film heartthrob Rudolph Valentino.
Even now, Georges Barbier, is known as an innovator of the union between art and fashion. He was the leader of a group of artists from the Ecole des Beaux Arts, nicknamed by Vogue as the group “The Knights of the Bracelet.” Bold, elegant, and perfectly in tune with the fashion he brought to life, Georges Barbier lived with zest and enthusiasm.