Art Deco (/ˌɑrt ˈdɛkoʊ/), or Deco, is an influential visual arts design style which first appeared in France during the 1920s, flourished internationally during the 30s and 40s, then waned in the post-World War II era. It is an eclectic style that combines traditional craft motifs with Machine Age imagery and materials. The style is often characterized by rich colors, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation.
Deco emerged from the Interwar period when rapid industrialization was transforming culture. One of its major attributes is an embrace of technology. This distinguishes Deco from the organic motifs favored by its predecessor Art Nouveau.
Built for an extravagant English knight and once owned by ‘50s movie siren Diana Dors, this stunning Saoutchik-bodied Delahaye 175 S has been restored to its former gloryAmerica is naturally associated with the most excessive styling trends, but France developed some seriously flamboyant machines during the swansong of the coachbuilder’s art following WW2. These streamlined wonders – mainly from the Paris workshops of Saoutchik and Figoni et Falaschi – were the automotive equivalent of Baroque architecture, with sweeping wing profiles and protrusions way beyond the wheelbase, all accentuated by dazzling chrome details. Underneath these extravagant forms lay largely warmed-over pre-war engineering, but these unique designs were conceived more as motor show or concours sensations than drivers. Not surprisingly, they required a larger-than-life personality to take the wheel and would become the perfect promotion vehicles for celebrities.