The Delphos Gown

Art nouveau is one of my favorite styles of art and though it slightly predates the 1920s (which inspired the Gatsbylady dress I'm wearing), there is a certain synergy between the art nouveau movement and the flappers who came shortly after. Art nouveau was inspired by nature and natural flowing forms like those of plants and flowers. You can recognize a piece from this movement almost immediately by the lack of straight lines; instead of rigid structure the style embraces fluid movement in all applications from paintings of reclining figures in diaphanous gowns to jewelry with silver droplets that circle gemstones like dew and buildings with as many curves and twists as a chambered nautilus and ironwork that mimics the stems of flowers. This call back to nature and natural forms in art began in the 1890s and while flappers were a few decades away, there were women who craved the embrace of natural curves and forms in their style well before the 1920s. Women at this time were dressed in as much rigid structure as building scaffolding and the female form was exaggerated to unnatural proportions by the corset (the Edwardian corset was had a flat front that gave women an exaggerated s shape in profile). One designer bucked tradition was Mariano Fortuny, who created the Delphos gowns inspired by classical Greek sculptures and crafted into fine pleats. He created his first gown around 1907 and the unique dresses were made more shocking by the fact that they were meant to be worn without undergarments--partly because of course undergarments of the era were structured and bulky and destroyed the natural curves of the body. Today of course we can get the same natural silhouette Fortuny was inspired by with our modern undergarments. And all of this rambling is to say, today's dress by Gatsbylady reminds me of those elements of style. I love the gently curving beaded and floral designs on the dress which in an almost absinthe green also calls back to those Art Nouveau posters I adore.


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