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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Flachen-Schmuck, Rhythm, and Optical Art in Clothing.

Synchronicity, convergence - it happened after I'd been researching works of Wiener Werkstatte artists - reading about Klimt and Floge, while free-falling into Sonia Delaunay wholeheartedly:  a page 103 photo in February 2013 Harper's Bazaar literally sprang from the page, like an accordion-fold... geometric, angular, and going-somewhere.

Harper's Bazaar, page 103, "The Style: Bold Prints, Pattern Up". February 2013.
You understand what I'm talking about here - don't you? - it's that tunic and pant combo, with the jump-off-the-page zig-zag-chevron-diamond-stripe flachen-schmuck, (flachen-schmuck is German for surface decoration... this I learned while reading about artists of the Wiener Werkstatte - who were experts in flachen-schmuck).  I love the term flachen-schmuck, by the way - and have been using it whenever possible to describe anything that zing-zing pinballs my eyeballs.

Flachen-schmuck has become a flexible part of my vocabulary though, because as you well know surface decoration can be good or bad - an example occurring recently as I thought "too much flachen-schmuck" recently when I stood before a 40-foot statue - gilded and painted like Priscilla Queen of the Desert. (Not me, but the statue.)

Here's another beautifully mesmerizing example of flachen-schmuck.  It's a graphic look over which I waxed enthusiastic in this March 2012 post, when the same zing-zing pinballing of my eyeballs occurred.  At that time I was unaware of the term flachen-schmuck, but the graphic-optic patterns of the coat and curtain in Vogue's Francoise Gilot feature were eye-engaging in precisely the same way.
Francoise Gilot - Vogue, March 2012 - Tina Barney photograph.  Oscar de la Renta coat.  Gorgeous!
Since reading about Sonia Delaunay and her idea of simultaneity - which recognizes the behavior and interaction of color groups and the perceived movement that colors can create - I've been brainstorming such theories frequently.  

Look at the curtain there behind Gilot.  

Scroll up and look at the zig-zag-chevron-diamond-stripe tunic and pant ensemble.  

What's causing that rhythm?  

Maybe the colors, but as I see it - perhaps much of that graphic-optic art rhythm is a result of black and white contrasting pattern - with color introduced to the mix.  The red and orange/yellow do vibrate because they're such similar colors... one feels the heat of red and orange... a flame-like flicker.

Then, of course think about the works of Klimt - all that surface decoration.  Not really like Delaunay at all, because with Delaunay - there was more emphasis on surface interruption... interrupting the perceived planes and giving a sense of multi-dimensional depth.  Klimt's rhythmic surfaces seem - to me - more two-dimensional... a gently undulating, albeit psychedelic, plain/field.

Summing up all this flachen-schmuck, it appears there's a Wiener Werkstatte, Delaunay, Klimt, (and perhaps Futurist), surface-decoration trend already pinball-rolling.  

By the way, I would attribute the designer of the great tunic/pant combo - and have tried diligently to discover the designer - but still no answer.  If you know, please comment.  I think it's a fantastic look!  Not subtle, not discreet, not for the timid - but it absolutely emits energy.