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Superior Fashion as Art

La Gazette du Bon Ton was an exclusive publication for those who could afford the annual subscription of 100 francs (equivalent to $US 400) for 8 issues. Fashion artists created illustrations of couturiers' designs, and colour technicians analysed each artist's pochoir and cut as many as 20 separate stencils for successive applications of watercolour with various tools and brushes, to show the fine fabric detail and colour tone variations consistently in each illustration for each page of each edition - hand-painting on thick cream vergé paper.

Collected since the time of their publication, the fashion narratives were the most coveted, particularly when double-size (with central fold). Superior fashions worn in elegant locations were often accompanied by humorous captions, and simple "Croquis" (Sketches) were shown without background. The Gazette also included elegant advertisements, prose, and features about theatre and sporting activities for the wealthy - beautifully embellished with modern, stylized pochoir illustrations.

Pochoir, French for stencil, has always been used to describe the work of these French artists in recognition of their mastery of the art form. The Gazette was the creation of Lucien Vogel, who employed a group of extrovert artists who had attended the École des Beaux Artes together. They dressed and behaved flamboyantly and were known as the 'Knights of the Bracelet'. With varying artistic styles - some (like Charles Martin) with more than one distinctive style - they depicted elegant life in Paris between 1912 and 1925.

No matter what subject or colour, there is a wonderful variety of styles and each has its own charm. They have always made us smile - and appeal to men, women and children - especially when grouped imaginatively. They show us a time when people took pleasure in dressing and behaving well... perhaps not this Madame on the Balcony...

If you are interested in more background information, read our editorial in the Antiques to Vintage magazine, at Australian newsagents in June... or email me and I'll send you the article. Don't forget to have a look at the rest of the fashion pochoirs on this website (link below). They can bring joy to anyone's life - as they did my late husband's. /Products/Antique-Prints/Fashion-antique-prints/1920s-Fashion,-Gazette-du-Bon-Ton.aspx

Posted: 28/05/2024 7:42:50 AM by | with 0 comments

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