#2454 $1,100Deco beaded silk flapper dress, c.1925
Boldly graphic Art Deco design is a perennial favorite: always sophisticated and always "modern." Here is quintessential Deco floral design with its curvilinear forms, flat graphic shapes, and sharply defined outlines.
The body of the cream colored dress is covered with traditional floral sprigs of opaque white seed beads. The Deco hipline band and wide hem border offer striking contrast to the monochrome background.
The ancient Greek poet Archilochus might have been thinking of this fab Deco design when he wrote: "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." The big idea here is costume topography. The female form is mapped onto three abutting subcontinents: bodice, waist area, and legs (below the hem).
Although still important, the lesser idea is decoration: ornamentation (floral springs); color (restricted Art Nouveau pastel palette); and Art Deco beading. Unusual Deco beaded designs are uncommon, making our dress a special find for the collector.
The unstructured dress slips on without closures. Overlapping skirt panels are open on the sides up to the hipline. The stylized floral border of opaque white seed beads and black bugle beads comes alive over a background of cornflower blue silk.
The hipline band intimates the stylized simplicity of a Classical decorative frieze—the narrative horizontal band used by Classical architects, e.g., the Elgin Marbles Parthenon frieze. Instead of an Athenian religious procession, our hipline frieze charmingly compliments the female form.
The condition is almost excellent. The structurally sound dress just shows gentle wear.
It measures: 40" bust and waist, 44" hip, and 45" from shoulder to hem. Heavily beaded flapper dresses are meant to be loose. Our dress was photographed on a mannequin that measures 35" bust, 25" waist, and 36" hip.