Art Deco was the first ever artistic movement to combine architecture and design. After its creation around 1910, it became popular with the general public in the 20s before experiencing a sharp decline just 15 years later. The key characteristics of the Art Deco trend that Helena Rubinstein much admired were vibrant colors and geometric shapes.
The Art Deco trend
Art Deco was synonymous with the revival of simplicity and sophistication. It represents a symbolic period between the two world wars and is the antithesis of all things ostentatious and grand. The trend was more about a lifestyle promoting the elegance and simplicity of form. As one of the first styles of its time to recognize a great success, it was in France that it gained its first foothold. From the beginning of the 20th century, Art Deco influenced the world of architecture, design, printing and even fashion. Couturier Paul Poiret, one of Helena Rubinstein's favorite designers, was considered to be one of Art Deco's most avid supporters. Thanks to him, corsets were no longer part of a woman's everyday wardrobe and women had the confidence to wear more masculine shapes and tailoring. Joséphine Baker was very fond of masculine styling and she embodies the Roaring Twenties with her movie posters, now being a key attraction in many exhibitions dedicated to Art Deco.
Helena Rubinstein was truly passionate about art. A woman ahead of her time, she was particularly interested in the Art Deco movement and owned several pieces from the era. Sculptures, paintings and architecture were all part of her life which she proudly displayed in her famous beauty salons. As he quickly became her friend and, eventually, her mentor, Paul Poiret was named head of interior design and renovation works within her Paris-based beauty salon shortly after WWII. Quintessentially Art Deco, the newly styled beauty institute combined oriental objects and furnishings with more modern pieces. Helena Rubinstein brought her very own tables, statues and sculptures to sit alongside her more traditional club armchairs and velvet footstools.
The sophistication of the shapes and materials that the Art Deco movement was based around continually inspired Helena Rubinstein. The woman who created beauty would continue to create chic, yet simple shapes when it came to her skincare and makeup packaging. And, what better way to satisfy the desires of her most prestigious clients?