George Barbier

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“George Barbier (1882-1932) was one of the key artists of the “Art Deco” movement and one of the most prestigious French artist’s and fashion illustrators to emerge from post World War 1 in the early twentieth century.He produced the most exquisite, high-colour fashion plates for the couturier Paul Poiret, as well as contemporaries Lanvin, Paquin and Vionnet.His elegantly refined, graphic style was typical of the “Art Deco” school and the influences of Orientalism, antique vases, Indian miniatures, Aubrey Beardsley, the Ballet Russes (which inspired his lavish costume designs)  and (not least) Parisian haute couture are evident in his work.His stylised, precisely-illustrated fashion vignettes seem to effortlessly capture and define the atmosphere of the 1920s and are so evocative of that by-gone era and a certain type of upper-class lifestyle.”

Although the work can be seen as all substance and no style,reminiscent of the art deco period. I myself am less interested in the meaning and more focused of the use of pattern and stylisation in Barbier’s prints. The capture scenes and say more about the constant partying and sexual exploration of the roaring 20’s in the scenes captured than most written works can. And that’s what I aim to focus on, looking at how I can use illustration to tell a story that words cannot.



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