| ||Some of my favorite buttons to collect were produced in the period between the 1920's and1940's where the vibrant colors and simple shapes recall a style that is at once traditional as well as innovative and impelling. It is interesting to note that the descriptive term for the style of this period, which was derived from the Paris Exposition of Decorative Arts in 1925, was not coined until the 1960's. An era of contradictions from the licentiousness of the Roaring 20s to the great Depression of the 30's. An era that generated the Design style we now refer to as Art Deco. A Style which had its influence naturally extending even to the world of fashion and of course the buttons which decorated the clothing.|
The flat geometric and simplistic shapes of Art Deco adapt well to the button format. Stark color contrasts stemmed from that influence as well. Color palates such as silver and cobalt blue or crystal and black . Art Deco designs appeared on glass wood, metal and covered fabric. The pre WWI days of fine buttons of superb craftsmanship was over and technological advances were utilized in the mass production of buttons in all the latest materials. Chrome, aluminum, lucite and bakelite in a streamlined elite look, that due to the production quantity was inexpensive enough to be available to everyone. The use of enameling began to lose popularity after the Art Nouveau period ended, so buttons of this material with the Art Deco designs are quite scarce. Fewer buttons were required for the fashions of the 1920's. Glass and fabric buttons being the most utilized. Through the 20's, the earlier period of Art Deco the design style was more often to the curvilinear and graceful.
By 1930, the influence of Cubism and abstracted geometric displayed a new dynamism. The utilization of plastics was more predominant in the 30's and bakelite was one of the more favored button fashion statements.The cheerful colors brightened an often depressing outlook and difficult times could be offset by a lighthearted theme on clothing. A notable influence of the times which found it’s way into button design was the 1922 discovery of King Tutankahaman’s Tomb, in Egypt. Other design influences that may be seen on buttons are the floral abstract, Oriental, Aztec and Architectural design. The Art Deco era ended with the start fo WWII in 1941. If you are as drawn as I am to a time when design style had such an influence on everything from buildings to clothing, you will enjoy collecting these buttons as well.