For her newest collection at New Ravenna, Cean Irminger is channeling the likes of T. S. Eliot and Cecil Beaton.
They were part of one of the first media-savvy café societies in Western history – one known as the Bright Young Things in post World War I London.
“They were a young, exuberant, party crowd, famous for fame’s sake, and the first style-makers and tastemakers,” she says. “They were pushing boundaries and changing landscapes by changing the social norms at the time.”
The new collection, named after them, aspires to that kind of attitude, born during the Art Deco period in design and decorative arts. “I want to connect that era with this era and reintroduce our version of the Deco world of the twenties,” she says. “And not just from architecture but from everything – the beading on dresses, the prisms from the chandeliers and the floral patterns on fabrics.”
To be sure, the twenties was a time of blaze and glitz and glam, with plenty of shiny brass and reflected light – and even the deconstruction of cubist paintings.
So today, New Ravenna is looking to all that to energize the look and feel of its new collection. “The main focus was to take inspiration from the twenties but to create all new designs from the period of the first emergence of Deco,” she says.
She also wanted to to highlight the approach of the 100-year anniversary of the Roaring Twenties – and its similarities to today. “Youth was at the forefront of design and the social scene then,” she says. “So I wanted to redefine Deco for our modern audience, and I didn’t want to copy it – but to turn it on its side and just reference the past.”
So who’s the target market for the new collection? “People who are wild and adventurous, but also those who don’t want to go too far out of boundaries,” she says. “These are for the younger market – the risk-takers who want something new and exciting, and the lovers of glam who are unique and innovative.”
In other words, the latter-day world of Bright Young Things.
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