The Russian-born, Paris-based artist Erté (Romain de Tirtoff) is best known for his incomparably styled fashion and theater designs of the 1910s and 1920s. From 1915 to 1936 Erté was associated with Harper's Bazar, furnishing readers with fashion designs, cover art, and word-pictures of the European fashion scenes. This book is a selection of Erté's remarkable work for Harper's Bazar, including 310 of his line drawings and 8 full-color images as well as selections from his letters for the magazine. Of these drawings, 12 have been reproduced directly from the original pen drawings at original size for this edition.
In the illustrations, Erté shows gowns, coats, pajamas, hats, and accessories of all sorts and for each season. Tassels, fur muffs, capes, hair stylings, and other extravagant flourishes are second nature to Erté in these designs. The drawings themselves are striking evocations of the "temptress" type of feminine allure, and are works of art in their own right whose exotic styles are inseparable from the style of the fashions they depict. The original Harper's captions have been reprinted with each illustration.
This selection from Erté's work has been made by Stella Blum, Curator of the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute, who has chosen the illustrations both for their interest as art and for their importance in the development of fashion. Copies of Harper's Bazar from the years of Erté's great work are very hard to find today, and students of fashion, fashion illustration, and others interested in Erté will find this a most welcome collection.