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Art Deco(ration)

Art Deco is a type of decorative style originating in the 1920s and 1930s, marked by precise and boldly delineated geometric shapes and strong colors. According to Patricia Bayer, author of “Art Deco Architecture: design, decoration and detail from the twenties and thirties”, the term “art deco” was coined in 1966, after an exhibition in Paris, ‘Les Années 25’ sub-titled Art Deco, celebrating the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts). Art Deco was particularly popular in the United States, Latin America and in the countries of France and Germany.

During the summer, a very particular form of tropical, palm-leaf flecked art deco enters my mind – that of the parrot feather colors of Miami’s art deco district. In 1979 Miami Beach’s Art Deco Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Art Deco District is the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world and comprises hundreds of hotels, apartments and other structures erected between 1923 and 1943.

Image found HERE.

Image found HERE.

I was reminded of my love for this district on a suburban jaunt to South Jersey for my nephew’s third birthday party! While picking up his Star Wars themed gifts, my boyfriend and I ran to the local Target! Target has a new promotion going on called “The Shops” which are curated collections from favorite small boutiques found all over America. One shop that particularly drew my attention was The Webster! The collection included apparel and accessories for women, men, kids and baby with a Miami, FL vibe. Taking inspiration from The Webster’s décor, the shop’s iconic wallpaper is reinterpreted into the banana leaf print found throughout the collection, while the two-way deco print pays homage to the Miami Beach Art Deco district. How perfect are these styles for a day in the sun and surf?

The Webster is a 20,000 square foot luxury multi-brand boutique located in the heart of Miami Beach, in a historical Art Deco building designed in 1939 by famed architect Henry Hohauser. The three-level boutique is devoted to fashion (men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and luxury accessories such as shoes, bags, jewelry and watches), photography and entertainment. n the former hotel lobby, you can sit and have an afternoon coffee, tea or simply a glass of Champagne. The Webster was started by two friends from the Paris fashion industry, Laure Heriard-Dubreuil and Milan Vukmirovic who dreamt of running their own boutique!

Image from Avram Rusu Interiors.

Miami Art Deco by Squiz Hamilton & Sabrina Bangladesh, found HERE. 

Image found HERE.

Image found HERE. 

Image found via The Glamorai.

Robert Courturier’s beachside villa entitled, ‘Tropical House by the Sea, HERE.

Another Robert Courturier house, this time on Vero Beach with an Egyptian Nile meets Miami Beach vibe.

The famous “Martinique” Banana Leaf wallpaper, found at Indochine, NYC.

What place reminds you of the vibrant colors of summer? What equatorial cities leave you reaching for the SPF and donning a floppy straw hat?

 

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Keren Veisblatt Toledano is a Senior Strategist at Brooklyn United, a digital agency for bold brands. In her spare time, Keren can usually be found taking photos of old doors, visiting museum, soaking in Epsom salts, admiring copper pots, reading dystopian science fiction or sneaking a slice of lemon into her drinks. Her motto is, “A morning without coffee is sleep.” She lives in a brownstone with her cat, Cagney, husband, Michael, and son, Josiah, in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, NY.

  • Some trivia about Art Deco-centric Napier in New Zealand (lifted directly from Wikipedia) for your northern hemisphere readers!

    On 3 February 1931, most of Napier was levelled by an earthquake. The collapses of buildings and the ensuing fires killed 256 people. The centre of the town was destroyed by the earthquake, and later rebuilt in the Art Deco style popular at that time. Some 4000 hectares of today’s Napier were undersea before the earthquake raised it up above sea level.

    Although a few Art Deco buildings were replaced with contemporary structures during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, most of the centre remained intact for long enough to become recognised as architecturally important, and beginning in the 1990s it had been protected and restored. Napier and the area of South Beach, Miami, Florida, are considered to be the two best-preserved Art Deco towns (with the town of Miami Beach, Florida, being mostly decorated in the somewhat later Streamline Moderne style of Art Deco.)

    Beginning in 2007, Napier was nominated as a World Heritage Site with UNESCO. This is the first cultural site in New Zealand to be so nominated.

    Great place to visit! 🙂