{Inspiration} Art Deco Decor: Balancing Geometry and Romance

Coco Chanel’s mirrored staircase

To continue my discussion on Art Deco inspired colour schemes, today’s post will focus on the elements and details you can incorporate to continue the Art Deco theme in your wedding decor.

Based on my research, Art Deco themed weddings have the potential to take on a costume-y, even Halloween, effect. Designers might over-emphasize the kitschy and obvious, such as tall vases with huge feathers and pearls hanging off or peacock colours everywhere…and it becomes too much…at least for my taste. I am more a fan of the “inspired” look and not the “obvious” look—if that even makes sense. (e.g., pic on the left: not for me.)

For a successful Art Deco look, I think it’s important to emphasize two elements: geometry and romance. Both balance each other out: romantic elements soften harsh geometric lines, and geometry anchors the romance.

How does this translate into real life? Geometric elements include the more “masculine” aspect of Art Deco: architectural inspirations; strong patterns; sharp, repetitive shapes and lines; mirrors; chrome; and black lacquer. In contract, romantic elements include feminine touches, such as light colours, brushed gold, bronze, curves, texture, pearls, and flowers.

For example, the following tables have a fine balance of masculine and feminine materials:

The Queen Mary Ballroom

Art Deco Collection by Ralph Lauren Home

New York apartment from Architectural DigestRed, black lacquer, bold pattern, and golden light

Centrepieces can also represent the style in many ways. You could take inspiration from the NYC skyline that is peppered with Art Deco buildings (think Empire State, Chrysler, Rockefeller Centre) and incorporate architectural elements into your centrepiece by using different sized vases with soft floral arrangements. Maintaining a strong pattern via geometric table cloths/runners or contrasting colour combinations are additional means of subtly infusing art deco.

The following centrepiece examples are quite modern, but I find they have a good balance of masculine and feminine aspects, along with architectural interest. Architecture doesn’t mean “HUGE”; smaller, textured arrangements could actually have more impact. Moreover, replacing the white vases in the below examples with brushed gold or bronze could infuse a vintage feel; possibly even more striking would be to combine brushed gold or bronze with black lacquer or mirrors (a la Coco Chanel’s staircase). Very sexy. Also, roses, calla lillies, and hydrangeas are ideal flowers–they are very soft and romantic. {Click on the following pictures to be redirected to original site.}


Additionally interesting would be to use art deco vases or vases with patterns influenced by art deco style. {Image credits: Clockwise starting from top left: Crackled vase; Skyscraper vase; White & purple vase; Red, white turquoise vase}

{Image credits: L-R: White vase; chrome vase}

And, if you’re feeling fancy, la piece de resistance:

A vintage photo booth!

Typography, fashion, and beauty inspirations to follow (soon)!

xoxo,

LBB

{Inspiration} Colour me Art Deco!

Continuing my Art Deco Inspiration series, I’ll focus this and the next post on wedding decor.  Decor, in my opinion, is essential to establishing your wedding’s mood. Art Deco design is definitely for the bride and groom who like glamour, are looking for a perfect mix of vintage and modern, and want something a little sexy. There’s also a masculine and industrial feel to the style that might appeal to some grooms–at least when compared to a frilly pink princess theme!

Regarding South Asian and fusion weddings, recall that Art Deco has many influences, including art from ancient Egyptians and Mayans. (I also wonder if imperialism, still the rage in the 1900s, impacted Art Deco style?) Due to its multiple influences, gold, silver, and bronze are elements common to Art Deco, which lend themselves easily to South Asian wedding decor. Contrasting metallics  in South Asian fashion and design, though, metallics in Art Deco are noticeable, but somewhat subdued; they often have a brushed look with a slight sheen.

The patterns, geometry, and colour combinations in Art Deco offer loads of inspiration for colour schemes, linens, table settings, and so on! I created some colour inspirations boards below. When creating the boards, Art Deco posters and textiles served as my jumping off points, almost similar to the interior design process when you choose a painting you love and then design a room around the painting. Along with inspiration from posters and textiles, the colour boards are also influenced by my personal preference for creating a warm and cozy setting amidst glamourous and grand details.

A caveat to start…there’s a lot of black!

Red, gold, & black
{Image credit: Paramount Hotel; Art Deco wallpaper; Parisian poster}

Olive, gold, and black
{Image credit: Vogue cover; Ralph Lauren Art Deco Collection; Art Deco Wallpaper}

Purple, black, and ivory{Image credit: Art Deco wedding; Art Deco cake; Purple textile}

Red, silver, and black

{Image credit: Peninsula Restaurant in Shanghai; Art Deco Fabric}

Some more pretty images for inspiration…

{The Salon by Erte}

{Sampson & Delilah by Erte}

The following prints are by Frank Mcintosh, who designed many covers for Asia magazine through the 1920s and 30s. His work has an interesting combination of Asian and Art Deco styles; granted, some of his work has an air of Orientalism…but, the images are pretty….(ooh, how the 22-year-old-anti-establishment-undergraduate-LBB looks at me from the past with disgust).

{In Agra and On One of the Seven Seas}

{Indian Dance and Winged Guests}

In the next post, I’ll share some pretty table settings!

xoxo,

LBB

{Inspiration} Art Deco

One of my absolute favourite design styles–for architecture, interior design, and fashion–is Art Deco. Art Deco emerged in Paris in the 1920s and spread internationally over the next 10 to 15 years. It’s influenced by several early 20th century art movements, including Neclassicism and cubism, along with the art of ancient civilizations. Art Deco, from my observations, is marked by geometric patterns with clean lines. It is simultaneously intricate and simple. For me, Art Deco also has a certain coolness factor that I haven’t identified in other art forms. Perhaps its birth during the Roaring 20s–as hemlines rose, bootleg liquor and ‘speakeasies’ proliferated, and Coco Chanel debuted the ‘little black dress’–lends an air of je ne sais quoi to Art Deco; but whatever it is, Art Deco has always, for me, symbolized cool, stylish, and chic.

I first fell in love with Art Deco during a a high school trip to New York City. I was enamoured by the architecture and interior design of buildings like the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. I found the colours, shapes, and geometry glamorous, interesting, and surprisingly modern. A solo return trip to NYC in 2009 as a “more worldly” 29 year old continued, if not strengthened, my adoration of Art Deco.

When I got engaged, I really wanted to incorporate Art Deco into our wedding’s style. At the time, though, I wasn’t sure how to fuse Art Deco into my traditional Sikh ceremony and Punjabi reception. I thought the styles were at opposite ends of the spectrum. Also, when I discussed my interest in Art Deco with others, I often got blank stares; one potential vendor even said, condescendingly, “So…you’re artsy, eh?” (I am anything but.) I figured if these creative folk can’t help me, I must be off the mark. I dropped the idea.

But, as I’ve blogged over the past year and seen more weddings, I’ve been revisiting that idea and think that the drama and glamour of Art Deco are perfectly suited to South Asian weddings. With that in mind, I’ve been working on a series of posts exploring how Art Deco architecture, art, and fashion can inspire different elements of South Asian and fusion weddings. Over the next few days, I’ll share my musings and hope that I can also inspire new brides and grooms…and maybe even comfort some “off the mark” brides like me.

As a prelude to upcoming posts, I thought I’d share images of the interior design of some Art Deco buildings…as that is what most enthralls and inspires me.


xoxo,

LBB

{Image credits: Feature collage (Clockwise from Top Left): 1920s Fashion; BlogTO; Dreamstime; My Home Design ; Picture 1: my personal photo of the Chrysler Building; Pictures 2, 3, 4 all from Art Deco Weddings}

Happy 2012!

2011 has been a roller coaster of a year for me; despite the highs and lows, it’s been a great ride and I’m looking forward to 2012.

I wish you all a very happy, prosperous 2012 that glitters like gold…and like my gold inspiration board!

Images L to R (clockwise): Wedding Trends; Ruffled Blog; Martha Stewart Weddings

xoxo,

LBB

The Everlasting Beauty of the Sari…CTC West Style

I recently had the pleasure of coming across a wonderful website, Old Indian Photos, which is essentially an archive of photos from the Indian subcontinent. Many of them are simply breathtaking and I have spent hours going through picture after picture. Apparently, Gaurav from CTC West has also fallen in love with this site and posted a series of vintage LIFE magazine pictures documenting “How to tie a sari” a while back. Using these pictures as inspiration, Gaurav selected a team of creative geniuses to recreate the shoot with Canadiana colours and symbols. It’s absolutely breathtaking. I love how the shoot juxtaposes old and new while simultaneously highlighting the everlasting mystique and beauty of the Indian sari.

Credits:

Original Creative Concept: LIFE Magazine 1945
Photography: Christine Lim
Make-Up & Hair: Amplified Soul
Producer: Gurjeet Kaur Bassi
Model: Pardeep Bassi
Assistant: Gagan Bassi
Outfit: CTC West

xoxo,

LBB

Vintage Romance

Absolutely love artist Aparna Caur’s painted rendition of Raj Kapoor and Nargis in love under an umbrella (image from Tribune India).

I would love to have this framed and hung prominently in my home. There’s just something about this painting that warms my heart. How cute is this for an engagement shoot inspiration?

xoxo,

LBB

Inspiration Board: BWB Colours of the Rainbow–Turquoise

Last month, Noureen from Mybrownweddings contacted a range of South Asian wedding bloggers and proposed we join forces as the BrownWeddingBloggers (BWB). She had the great idea that each blogger create inspirtation boards based on a specific colour as our first joint venture. It was a great way to connect this small community of bloggers!

I chose turquoise for my inspiration board. It’s one of my favourite colours. I love that it is bright and bold, but can also be softened with the right touches. My inspiration board below takes the softer approach, with spring and summer weddings around the corner. Enjoy!

Photo credits (Clockwise, starting from top left): Charmi Creations, Eddie Ross, Charmi Creations, Martha Stewart Weddings, Blossom Box, Embellished by Tiffany

I also still do love turquoise with bold colour combinations, like red for example:

Photo credit: from Pink Rock Events by Adrena Photography

Photo credit: from Pink Rock Events by Adrena Photography

Make sure to check out other inspirations boards on these wonderful blogs over the next few days:

xoxo,
LBB