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Art Deco is the popular name for the design movement that flourished from the 1920s through the early 1940s. The style encompasses architecture, fashion, industrial design, fine and decorative art. While the origins of Art Deco were primarily European, its impact spread all over the globe, finding an enthusiastic home in America. Designers adapted Art Deco to new materials like aluminum, bakelite, fiberglass, and neon to create a streamlined 20th Century look. The style suggests speed, power, and opulance, and includes geometric patterns, streamlined shapes, and heroic human forms. Art Deco expresses a fundamental belief in progress, human improvement, futurism, and the beneficial relationship between man and machine. Early Art Deco (1911-1929) was a period of immense social upheaval particularly for WOMEN. Between 1911 and 1919, dress forms moved to a narrow, relaxed, almost semi-fitted silhouette. Although many women continued the habit of wearing corsets, the tubular clothing silhouette no longer required it. Hemlines also began to climb from ankle length in 1910 to mid-calf by 1919 and all the way up to the knee by 1925. The waistline essentially disappeared. Before 1919, it was high, just below the bustline; by 1920 it had settled at the hips. Knits, leather, and rayon for the first time became important fashion materials. Poiret and Fortuny were among the most well-known designers of the period before World War I. Designers such as Chanel and Patou were trend setters in the 1920s.
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