Showroom: Reinterpreting the Roaring ’20s

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Catherine Martin drew inspiration for her latest, Art Déco–inspired collection for Mokum from her film work—and her love of the period. Image courtesy Mokum.

For sheer glamour, you can’t beat the Roaring Twenties. The clothes. The jewels. The furnishings. For their newest collection, Mokum, the New Zealand textile company, taps that rich heritage with a collection by Catherine Martin, the acclaimed, Academy Award–winning costume and set designer.

The new collection, the second collaboration between Martin and Mokum, grew out of Martin’s costume and set work on Baz Luhrmann’s recent film adaptation of The Great Gatsby (their first was inspired by Martin’s experience on Luhrmann’s epic Australia). It was a perfect fit for Mokum, explains Stephanie Moffitt, the company’s Sydney-based design director. “As a studio, we’d done an Art Déco collection, so it was nice to revisit an area we’ve already researched.” In teaming with Martin once again it also offered a chance “to see what worked with the first collection and explore what we wanted to achieve with the second,” she says.

Besides drawing on her film work for the new designs, Martin turned to her childhood, where she spent time in France at her grandfather’s Art Déco house, and to her second home of Manhattan, where the American Déco tradition has influenced her. The resulting designs immediately evoke period motifs but “are infused with a modern feel,” notes Moffitt.

Included in the collection are five textiles, along with wallpapers and pair of ribbons. They’re offered in glamorous black and gold and an intense peacock shade that suggests jade and Bakelite designs of the ’20s, along with paler neutrals that are just as luxe. Patterns range from the geometric (the velvet Limelight and the linen blend Metropolis) to a floral velvet (Splendour).

In the end, though, the collection isn’t about a verbatim recreation of the time’s motifs. “There are a few signature pieces that reflect Déco, but, depending on your application, you can transcend it,” says Moffitt.

For more information on the collection and where to find it, click here.

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