Thursday, September 16, 2010

✂-Designer's Tip of The Day-Erte'

Who was Erte'?
His legal name was Romain de Tirtoff; Erte' is the French pronunciation of his initials (R.T.).  Russian born, in 1892 working in Paris (he arrived there in 1912). He was a diversely-talented 20th century artist and designer who flourished in an array of fields, including fashion, jewelry, graphic arts, costume and set design, for film, theatre, and opera, and interior design.

Erte' made is American debut with a cover for Harper's in January 1915.  It was so well received that before the year was out, he was given not only another cover (November) but also a varying number of pages within the magazine.  In the following years he steadily contributed cover designs, sketches and his own brand of commentary. 

With the exception of a few minor detail drawings, Erte's sketches show a highly personal concept of a complete woman: Costume, hat or headdress, coiffure, shoes and all mannor of enchanting accessories.  He was superbly inventive.  Most of the clothes he created, through the skillful manipulation of lengths of fabrics, required few seams.  Many were merely simple geometric pieces ingeniously draped or put together by buttoning, knotting or lacing the various separate parts.  So popular were his contributions to Harper's that women eagerly awaited each issue to see what Erte' was up to.  Discerning designers and dressmakers could glean ideas for their own creations.  The majority of the women, however, were content to enjoy and muse over the esthetic beauty of the colorful covers and the lyrical fantasy of the black-and-white drawings.

What has inspired me most about Erte' was his ability to not limit himself to one medium, he sketched, designed costumes, jewelry, dresses, sets for film and theater.  He had many outlets for his creativity and  lived in his own world of imagination.

Source- Fashion Drawings and Illustrations From "Harper's Bazar" by Erte' Dover Books

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