One of BANDD’s oh so talented designers, Erica, is taking over the remix today to talk all about a design trend that is creeping its way into a major comeback right now; the beautiful and historic Art Nouveau. Erica’s been seeing this trend make appearances in interior design and women’s fashion lately, and since it happens to be one of her all time favorite movements in the history of art and design, she’s absolutely living for this comeback. Without further adieu, a love letter to Art Nouveau.
I’ve always been entranced by historic design. Following along and tracing how each art movement has arisen out of its respective context in history has always been something that I’ve found fascinating. Somewhat early on in my studies, I stumbled upon Art Nouveau: a turn-of-the-century reactionary style marked by its sinuous, almost lyrical line movement compounded with naturalistic motifs, and I was instantly hooked. Horta’s doors and Klimt’s gilded masterpieces and Morris’s textiles all simply captivated me.
Something about the inherent romanticism of Art Nouveau’s fluid forms and trademark muted color palette – jades, blushes, teals, gold, ambers, and olives – crosses into the realm of surrealism. Born of the Arts and Crafts movement originally as a response to World War I industrialism, it is known for its unique style of ornamentation which differentiates itself from the Victorian period that preceded it by means of its organic asymmetries and delicate, undulating forms.
I’ve always felt Art Nouveau never received the proper recognition it deserves; so often being lumped in with or mistaken for its far more widely appreciated kid sister, Art Deco. It did experience a brief rebirth in the 1960s, as the ethereal and almost witchy style blended quite harmoniously into the climate of the times, but it hasn’t seen much more than a relative lull since.
However, all of that may be quickly changing, as last week I happened upon an Alphonse Mucha capsule collection being marketed by a certain fast fashion mega-chain that made my heart sing. (I’ve always found that’s the way these kinds of things go; it starts in fashion and hospitality design, then trickles its way down into our homes.) And as I gazed upon those graphic tees, plastered in his glamorous watercolored cameos, I knew it was finally time. I am thrilled to be here letting you know that Art Nouveau is back, and it’s going to be chicer than ever.
We’ve seen an astronomical rise in Art Deco furnishings as we’ve entered into the Roaring 20s Part II, and as that continues to play out, I think we’ll see a real warming up to this adjacent sister style, as well. This softer approach, with its authentic materials and whimsical, dreamlike feel seems to really resonate with the younger generation. A seemingly contradictory style to incorporate into modern architecture, I think we’ll see this trend play out with a modern edge; taking the shape of bright, airy, and eclectic interiors with plenty of natural sprawling plant life, winding chandeliers and banisters, stained glass and ceramic elements, carved wood and ironwork, and botanical themes wallpapers and textiles.