Thursday, April 9, 2009

Esthétique Usine

With time and distance, things can be appreciated in a different way. This great print is a silk scarf found in a nearby antiquités-brocante. I like it in the same way I like the industrial looking black bisque coffeepot designed by Ineke Hans that figures on the Printemps Home catalogue. It's fun because we don't often see shapes like these for dress or in the home. More than representing the sleekness of the machine age, there is something primitive in these shapes that suggest the inner workings of plumbing and circuitry. Post-Fernand Léger tubular.

If I had received this scarf as a gift in 1961, the year it was made, something tells me I wouldn't have appreciated it at all, much less worn it. These must have been gifts to executive's wives or honored visitors to the factory it advertises.

Times change and I can now appreciate it and marvel at it. It is a 1961 calendar that boasts the capacities of a steel working factory with stylized pictures of its machines. The days of the year make up a cogwheel in the big industrial machine. But tradition has not been left behind in this modern factory; as is usual in France, each day of the year is associated with a saint and all those with the saint's name are remembered that day too. Everyone has his name day. It is clear that even saints go in and out of fashion. Here we see names we don't often see today (click for close-up) - St Tibure, St Fructueux, and my favorite,
St Quasimodo who is celebrated the 9th of April. Bonne fete, Quasimodo!

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