The First Issue of an Influential Art Deco Journal, with Radiant Fashion Plates and an Even More Dazzling Binding


([Paris: Printed by Maquet for Pierre Corrard], 1912). 280 x 200 mm. (11 x 7 7/8"). 2 p.l., 9 leaves (followed by plates), [1] leaf (colophon), all mounted on tabs. No. 116 OF 300 COPIES, initialed by the artist and the author.

DRAMATIC DUSTY ROSE CALF BY ALAIN DEVAUCHELLE (stamp-signed on front turn-in and dated 1989 on rear turn-in), covers with abstract wraparound design composed of onlaid geometric shapes in purple and olive green crushed morocco, black and garnet calf, ivory shagreen, and a psychedelic metallic pink material, all tooled with silver and gilt lines, and finished with a swath of platinum stars, dusty rose suede doublures and endleaves, original illustrated wrappers and original flyleaves patterned with bead necklaces and pink and black pincushions bound in, all edges gilt. Housed in a matching calf-backed chemise and slipcase. WITH 12 BRILLIANTLY COLORED POCHOIR FASHION PLATES BY GEORGES LEPAPE, all with tissue guards. Ray, "The Art Deco Book in France," p. 30. ◆IN IMMACULATE CONDITION.

This is a pristine copy of the inaugural edition of an elite and influential Art Deco journal, with pochoir plates by one of the eminent fashion illustrators of the 20th century, in a modern binding by the son and successor to a great Art Deco binder. "Modes et Manières d’Aujourd’hui" ["Fashions and Manners of Today"] was founded by writer and publisher Pierre Corrard as a most unique fashion journal. Each of the seven issues published over the next 10 years (in very limited numbers) paired a single writer and a single artist to create, in effect, an artist's book that would demonstrate fashion's importance to, and influence on, the culture of the time. Corrard's introductory essay here sets forth his conviction that clothes do indeed make the man--and, more important, the woman. "Costume," he tells us, "expresses very clearly the mentality of the population," and the elegance of women fuels the flowering of art. He points to the female influence on art from ancient Greek sculptures to Medieval Madonnas, and describes how women's fashion impacts the decorative arts, from furnishings and interior design to jewelry.

To depict the Woman of Today in all her glory, Corrard tapped fashion illustrator Georges Lepape (1887-1971), who had recently caused a sensation with his illustrations of the designs of couturier Paul Poiret. Praising him as "a poet of lavish imagination," Corrard proclaims that Lepape has captured the essence of the modern woman in this "festival of color." The colors are indeed brilliant, and the images both vibrant and sensuous. Lepape was strongly influenced by the Orientalist movement in art, by Persian miniatures, and by the revolutionary aesthetic of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, then scandalizing Paris with their revealing costumes. His illustrations stand out among those of his contemporaries for their soft and sinuous lines, a sharp contrast to the straight lines and hard angles of many Art Deco designs. His work for Poiret led to commissions for "Harper's Bazaar" and "Vogue"; he became the primary illustrator for the latter magazine, and set the standard for fashion illustration for the first half of the 20th century. He moved to New York in 1924, and continued to receive commissions for illustrations of fashion and luxury goods until his death in 1971.

The son of leading prominent binder Roger Devauchelle, Alain Devauchelle (1944-2011) trained as a gilder at the École Estienne before going to work for his father. He took over the family workshop, Atelier Devauchelle, in 1990. Like his father, he had an affinity for Art Deco design, but added modern twists. He was known for meticulously executed designs and for seeking out unusual materials and approaches that would harmoniously represent the text, the author, and his own aesthetic. Here, he has incorporated colors and shapes from Lepape's plates; the curved sprinkling of stars that marks the binding's chief departure from the Art Deco style reflects Lepape's own innovation in that sphere and sets the son's work apart from that of Devauchelle père. Atelier Devauchelle continues to create fine bindings under the direction of Alain's daughter, Isabelle, the third generation in a modern binding dynasty.

Price: $6,500.00