Lavish Art Deco Fashions, Painted by Erté

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Numeral 2 from Erté’s Numerals suite.Photo: Courtesy of Chalk & Vermilion and Seven Arts Ltd

It’s impossible to look back on flapper dresses and 1920s fashions without mentioning the so-called “Father of Art Deco” Romain de Tirtoff, famously known as Erté. The artist’s career spanned over 80 years, during which he designed sets and costumes for both the stage and screen, jewelry, fine art, sculpture, and over 200 covers for Harper’s Bazaar. Known for an unwavering Art Deco style, he was equally renowned for his wide range within the art world, including his wildly popular Alphabet Suite prints, sketches for Paris fashion houses, and cognac bottle designs for Courvoisier.

The artist influenced Twiggy, Stella McCartney, and Barbra Streisand, who owns a large collection of Erté’s work. When Streisand bought an Art Deco Manhattan townhouse in the 1970s, she commissioned a mural and freize by Erté.

This month, the artist’s works will be showcased for the first time at the Hermitage Museum in Russia, where he was born. Opening June 21, the exhibit includes 136 pieces. New York’s Martin Lawrence Gallery in New York also houses an extensive collection.

Click ahead to preview designs from the Hermitage exhibit, including artfully symmetric costumes, gilded accessories, and a woman with a lavish feathered plume forming the number two.