Barry Cordon: I first became aware of Art Deco after seeing the Chrysler Building in a film called Q-The Winged Serpent in 1982. The beauty of the building and the interiors they used struck a chord and so after looking it up in the library (pre-Google ) I became more aware of the whole Art Deco movement and that was it… hooked for life! I love everything about Art Deco especially the American streamlined look and the fact that the whole thing is about form, function and visual pleasure.
Karen Harvey: My love for Art Deco has always been apparent from a young age, anything with the iconic shapes from buildings to fashion caught my eye. When I became a vintage dressmaker 6 years ago after leaving a legal career, the 30s quickly became my favourite period to sew and of my vast pattern collection, I have both original and reprinted examples in many styles and sizes.
The North West of England has a wealth of original Art Deco at its fingertips from Iconic hotels like the Midland in Morecambe and The Hotel Gotham in Manchester to those that still need restoration and TLC, like Grange Lido in Cumbria. Being used to arranging regular vintage social gatherings of all eras, from fashion exhibitions to up close and personal “hands on” experiences with local museums, Hattie and I will welcome you warmly to our NW get-togethers where you will have an opportunity to dress up and have fun with like minded individuals.
Hattie Bee: I’m Hattie, and I’m a student at UCLan in Preston. My love of Art Deco started when I was in secondary school, and… three wardrobes full later… well, need I say more! I’m slowly working towards including Art Deco into my writing, and I’m also planning on having an Art Deco house, some day in the future!
Jennifer Putnam: As a historian and translator, it is only natural that I have fallen in love with the Art Deco style, whether it be in art, architecture, or fashion. Originally hailing from Chicago, my love for Art Deco architecture flourished on river cruises and summertime walks around the city. Only recently has the full picture come together for me; as a vintage fashion lover, I initially only explored the post-World War II era of clothing, assuming that interwar fashion would not suit me. This spring, I pushed myself in a photoshoot at an Art Deco bar to venture into 1920s fashion, and it added a whole new section to my wardrobe! In this past year, I have found a goldmine of interwar vintage and vintage-inspired clothing that is both flattering and eye-catching. It is a treat to be living in London now, where there is plenty of vintage shopping to be done and some wonderful hidden gems of Art Deco architecture hiding around the city!
Rama Muraleetharan: I have been exposed to the wonders of Art Deco since childhood – from watching Fleischer Studios’ stylish depiction of Metropolis in their 1940s Superman series and Bruce Timm’s famous ‘Dark Deco’ Gotham City, to playing through the opulently decorated levels of Ken Levine’s BioShock series. If only these grand places were real! Luckily enough, London is full of its own Art Deco delights, and I look forward to sharing them with you all.
Examples of beautiful Art Deco design can be found in so many places. The Hoover Building in Ealing and Battersea Power Station in Wandsworth, the marble halls of Arsenal FC’s beloved, old Highbury Stadium, hotels and restaurants such as The Beaumont and The Colony Grill Room in Mayfair, a plethora of cinemas dotted around the city, and even many London Underground stations (East Finchley’s kneeling archer and St. John’s Wood’s impressively lit escalator are my favourite highlights).
I am currently leading a project with my own local community, in my hometown of Chadwell Heath, to acquire and restore the Embassy Cinema into a cultural venue; a streamline moderne landmark built in the 1930s. Yet my ultimate aim is to preserve and promote London’s many Art Deco and Modernist buildings, monuments, artefacts and artwork with like-minded people.
EAST OF ENGLAND
Angharad Hart: Alongside my role as a heritage and conservation specialist, I recently had the opportunity to indulge my passion for Art Deco during my recent Building History master’s degree at Cambridge. I was still searching for my dissertation topic when I first visited New York in 2017, and it was the great Art Deco skyscrapers that truly captivated my heart and inspired me to write about inter-war office buildings in New York and London. My appreciation for Art Deco continued to blossom following visits to the many galleries and museums in the city, where I was moved by art and furniture of the period.
For me, no birthday is now complete without a trip to London to seek out its many Art Deco wonders, including the Carreras Cigarette Factory, Eltham Palace and my personal favourite, Ideal House by Raymond Hood; all rounded off with a well-earned afternoon tea. I look forward to inviting you to some fabulous events in the East Anglia region, to experience the wonderful variety of our fine Art Deco heritage.
Lorna McCulloch: I’ve loved vintage fashion and homeware for years, mixing styles from 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.The 30’s is my favourite decade though. I love Art Deco architecture, furniture and graphic design, and I’m slowly building a collection of homeware and furniture from the late 20’s to the 40’s, all with a strong Art Deco aesthetic. I’m also a cocktail aficionado and love a classic cocktail shaken in a vintage shaker and sipped from a decadent vintage cocktail glass. I’ve even built a hidden Art Deco cocktail bar behind a bookcase in my flat! I adore dressing to the nine’s in a bias cut even frock and dancing to some 30’s jazz or tango. My other main passion is reading and I’ve almost obsessive about Golden Age detective fiction. My dream would be to own a book shop specialising in detective fiction with a hidden speakeasy bar, in a beautiful Art Deco building.