A Treasure Trove of Parisian Fashion Plates from the 1920s


(Paris: Aux Editions Lucien Vogel, 1920-22). 248 x 197 mm. (9 3/4 x 7 3/4"). Six volumes, containing all issues for the years 1920, 1921, and 1922.

Dark blue sharkskin over marbled boards, raised bands, gilt titling, marbled endleaves. Profusely illustrated with color illustrations in the text and in advertisements (many full-page) and WITH 234 (of 236) POCHOIR ART DECO FASHION PLATES BY GEORGE BARBIER, ANDRÉ MARTY, and others, SOME HEIGHTENED WITH SILVER OR GOLD (lacking plates 68 and 70 from the 1921 volume). Spines sunned to dark brown, joints and extremities a little rubbed, two leaves coming loose, isolated minor offsetting, but a pleasing copy and certainly a fine set internally--clean and fresh, with vivid coloring.

These issues of a luxury women's magazine feature fashion illustrations from the zenith of the Art Deco period, with the designs of the great couturiers Paul Poiret, Jeanne Lanvin, Worth, Georges Doeuillet, and Madeleine Vionnet depicted by leading artists, including George Barbier, André Marty, Charles Marin, Pierre Brissard, Siméon, and Benito. With a title that translates to "Journal of Good Taste" and a subscription price that equalled $425 per year in today's money, Lucien Vogel's "Gazette du Bon Ton" was geared toward the elite women who wore custom-fitted designer clothes, changed dresses four or five times a day, vacationed in exotic locales, and regularly attended glittering balls. This elegant femme du monde is portrayed by the illustrators in dramatic vignettes displaying glorious couture. In addition to the fashion plates, there are articles on such timeless women's magazine topics as hair styles, flirting, and prime honeymoon locales, as well as reviews of music and art. The "Gazette" was founded by publisher Lucien Vogel in 1912 as a luxury magazine, printed on heavy stock with copious richly colored illustrations. Publication was suspended in 1915, due to World War I, and resumed in 1920, continuing through 1925. Copies most frequently turn up in the marketplace for single or part years, and they are very frequently in lamentable condition.