One of the popular design movements that has transcended to the present day in both the architecture and the visual arts in general is undoubtedly Art Deco.
The capital’s Museum of Decorative Arts hosts these days a suggestive sample, Divas in Art Deco, in which nearly sixty costumes worn by famous Cuban artists at the time, belonging to the private collection of designer Ismael de la Caridad, offer the viewer an unforgettable journey through the history of fashion designed under this style on the island.
The costumes treasured by Ismael and that he has been collecting for several years “to recover the memories of his childhood” accompanied divas of Cuban culture at key moments in their careers between 1930 and 1950, years in which this trend enjoyed greatly splendor in Cuba.
Rosa Fornés, Alicia Alonso, Zenaida Armenteros, Mariana de Gonitch, Carilda Oliver, Esther Borja, María de los Ángeles Santana, Aseneth Rodríguez, Elena Burke, Moraima Secada, Omara Portuondo, Zenia Marabal, Olga Navarro and Gina Cabrera, are some of the owners of these precious outfits that are in impeccable condition, worthy exponents of this trend that not only had great influence on the stages, but the daily life of the time. The public can see the costumes and remember the presentations, as some are accompanied by a picture of when they were released in the media and others by a sketch.
“Knowing these cultural personalities established a big commitment in my life and in my work, because it helped me in the journey to finding the refined and lyrical at its best, inspiring me and helping me as a designer. Receive this collection and all the love I surrender, not only because it is a material good, but in the it there is a high spiritual and historical level that is always present in me and in you now, ” Ismael said during the inauguration where in some of the owners of the garments and their families participated who have donated these valuable pieces to the vast collection.
Viewers thanked this shows that recalls significant moments in our culture through the clothing of the characters, which form much of the national imaginary and of the Cuban identity. There have been more than a few who have identified themselves with these costumes and their own and also have recalled those moments of their youth as an antidote to nostalgia.
These dresses show the values of this movement, elegant but not detached from reality or functional. The Art Deco is one of the styles that managed to surpass its predecessor the art nouveau in comfort and refinement, as focused on freedom of movement and was very geometric and influence from the ancient civilizations like the Egyptian.
Ismael, inspired by the model years of the Bacardi building and López Serrano designed his Art Deco dress, which is also included in the selection and belonged to Farah Maria.
“The exhibition consists of 52 outfits, although the collection of Ismael is much more comprehensive and will be compiled in a catalog soon,” he Professor Gustavo López told OnCuba, a curator who also highlighted the convening power that has taken this initiative which emerged during the last Art Deco World Congress held in Cuba, which has become one of the most visited exhibitions in recent years in the museum.
Elegance, sophistication and glamour, speak of this style, a unique combination of exoticism and modernity coexist in feathers, fur, sequins, layers, fringe, juxtaposed motives, different lines, deconstructions, intricate embroidery and unique as these divas that, mocking the time, even today steal sighs in the city of columns that owes so much to Art Deco.