Mystery Monday: The Gazette du Bon Ton and Georges Doeuillet

Marty, Andre-Edouard. "Les Deux Nigauds -- Robe de reveillon de Doeuillet", 1914. Plate VII from Gazette du Bon Ton, Volume 2, No. 1, Christmas 1913 - Janary 1914. From the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Accession number 1758

Marty, André-Edouard. “Les Deux Nigauds – Robe de réveillon de Doeuillet”, 1914. Lithograph with hand-applied color, 25.4 cm x 19.1 cm. Plate VII from the Gazette du Bon Ton, Volume 2, Number 1, Christmas 1913 – January 1914. From the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, accession number 17581. Copyright 2008 Artists Rights Society.

The publication? Gazette du Bon Ton
The designer? Georges Doeuillet

The illustrations of the Gazette du Bon Ton, a French fashion magazine, are classic examples of the Art Deco style of illustration. With wonderous scenes filled with Biblical and mythical characters and the most modern of interiors, these illustrations captured the fanciful mood of fashion in the 1910s and 1920s.

Our mystery image is an illustration by André Édouard Marty, an artist best known for his work during this period. His bold use of lines and saturated color are signature characteristics of his photomechanical lithographs with hand-applied color, best known as pochoir. These techniques effectively display the modern concept of Doeuillet’s couture creations but the illustrations belie the intricacy and delicate details of Doeuillet’s designs. Marty’s vibrant but flat illustrations all but erase Doueillet’s masterful use of fabric, the subtle draping of his dresses, and his elegant use of netting at the neckline and sleeve’s edge.

Doeuillet began his career as a silk merchant. As a designer, his masterful understanding of fabric allowed him to create dramatic silhouettes, which he punctuated with jeweled ornaments at the waist and hem to create a tactile combination of smooth silk and cold metal, glass and stone. Here is an example of one of Doeuillet’s designs complete with a pair of detailed dress ornaments:

Doeuillet, Georges. Evening dress with black net, blue satin and taffeta moiré and ornamentation, 1910 - 1913. Copyright the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Doeuillet, Georges. Evening dress with black net, blue satin and taffeta moiré and ornamentation, 1910 – 1913. Copyright the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Doeuillet, Georges. Evening dress with black net, blue satin and taffeta moiré and ornamentation, 1910 - 1913. Copyright the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Doeuillet, Georges. Evening dress with black net, blue satin and taffeta moiré and ornamentation, 1910 – 1913. Copyright the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In addition to the illustration of kissing fools under the mistletoe, this volume of Gazette du Bon Ton contained a fanciful series of Christmas themed fashion plates by other talented artists including Ludwik Strimpl, Javier Francisco Gose, Paul Méras, and Charles Martin.

Strimpl, Ludwik. "L'Encens, le cinname et la myrrhe – Robes du soir", 1913. Lithograph with hand-applied color, 25 cm x 38.5 cm. Plate I from Gazette du Bon Ton, Volume 2, Number 1. From the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, accession number 17582.

Strimpl, Ludwik. “L’Encens, le cinname et la myrrhe – Robes du soir”, 1913. Lithograph with hand-applied color, 25 cm x 38.5 cm. Plate I from the Gazette du Bon Ton, Volume 2, Number 1, Christmas 1913 – January 1914. From the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, accession number 17582.

Evening Dress from an unidentified designer, 1916 - 1918. Net and taffeta, brocaded with silks, and trimmed with gilt lace. From The Victoria and Albert Museum, accession number T.165-1960.

Evening Dress from an unidentified designer, 1916 – 1918. Net and taffeta, brocaded with silks, and trimmed with gilt lace. From The Victoria and Albert Museum, accession number T.165-1960.

This illustration employs rich colors and an imaginary, exotic location to emphasize the dramatic dresses and accessories in vogue during this period. Designers like Paul Poiret found inspiration in the luxurious silks, feathers and trims, choosing to complete their elegantly draped creations with turbans, capes and dramatic head pieces. According The Victoria and Albert Museum, this dramatic style of illustration was characteristic of other artists whose illustrations appeared in the Gazette du Bon Ton, including Georges Lepape and Charles Martin, seen below:

Martin, Charles. "L'Abre Merveilleux - Costume d'enfant pour Noel", 1914. Lithograph with hand-applied color, 25.4 cm x 19.1 cm. Plate III from Gazette du Bon Ton, Volume 2, Number 1, Christmas 1913 – January 1914. From the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, accession number 17555.

Martin, Charles. “L’Abre Merveilleux – Costume d’enfant pour Noel”, 1914. Lithograph with hand-applied color, 25.4 cm x 19.1 cm. Plate III from the Gazette du Bon Ton, Volume 2, Number 1, Christmas 1913 – January 1914. From the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, accession number 17555.

Gose, Javier Francisco. "Les Préparatifs de Noel – Robes d'après-midi de Redfern", 1914. Lithograph with hand-applied color, 25.4 cm x 19.1 cm. Plate IV from Gazette du Bon Ton, Volume 2, Number 1, Christmas 1913 – January 1914. From the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, accession number 17577.

Gose, Javier Francisco. “Les Préparatifs de Noel – Robes d’après-midi de Redfern”, 1914. Lithograph with hand-applied color, 25.4 cm x 19.1 cm. Plate IV from the Gazette du Bon Ton, Volume 2, Number 1, Christmas 1913 – January 1914. From the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, accession number 17577.

As you celebrate with family and friends this season, we at On Pins and Needles wish you happiness and good cheer. Mystery Monday will return on January 31, just in time to celebrate the arrival of the coming year.

Joyeux Noël! Joyeuses fêtes!

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