Truly Rare, Truly Avant-Garde

If you do a lot on vintage shopping online, I’m sure you have noticed the common usage of the word “rare” and the latest ebay-darling key word, “avant-garde.”  Truth is, most of the vintage clothing one finds for sale is not rare, is not one-of-kind and is not avant-garde.

Most items are not, but this 1920s cloche and scarf by artist Sonia Delauney are. You’ll find these two items for sale at, in the shop of The Way We Wore.  The shop owner, Doris Raymond, is offering them as a set, and they have been authenticated by the artist’s grandson.

Sonia Delauney was most interested in color and how people see it.  She experimented in her painted art, but she also used textiles to make collaged pieces using the same theories.  Her art was a form of cubism, and she was also a major player in the Art Deco movement.  She made collaged and embroidered pieces for sale, and also designed fabrics that were mass produced.  In 1923 (some sources say 1924)  she and Jacques Heim opened a shop together in Paris.

Because of the nature of her work, examples are very rare.  Her output was small, and I imagine that it was very expensive.  In all the reading I’ve done about her, there is always a  mention or two of all the celebrity wearings; there were many mentions of a particular coat she made for Gloria Swanson.  Now there was a woman who knew how to wear a coat, even a rare, avant-garde one.

Photos copyright and courtesy of The Way We Wore®,


Filed under Designers, Vintage Clothing

2 responses to “Truly Rare, Truly Avant-Garde

  1. Pingback: 1920s Dress Labeling | The Vintage Traveler

  2. Pingback: Currently Reading – Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay | The Vintage Traveler

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