Monday, April 9, 2012

Magnificent chandelier lights up downtown Toronto synogogue

If you want to see wonderful original (or restored) Art Deco chandeliers in Toronto, you could visit the Allstream Centre (formerly the Automotive Building at the CNE), or the CIBC Mellon Building (formerly Canada Permanent Mortgage Corp.) on Bay Street.

Or, perhaps surprisingly, you could pay a visit to the Anshei Minsk Synagogue in Toronto's Kensington Market and see this magnificent chandelier featuring broad terraces and universal fan-shaped Deco motifs interspersed with the Star of David. 

The synagogue, at 10 St. Andrew Street, is open daily with morning minyan at 7:30 am.

Decadent dresses from between the wars

 Do you know how to tell the difference between women's fashion from the 1920s and the 1930s?

If not, then you should check out the following video that features the curators of a new exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver entitled Art Deco Chic: Extravagant Glamour Between the Wars. The garments and accessories on display come from the private collections of Ivan Sayers and Claus Jahnke, as well as from the MOV and other’s collections.

Drawing inspiration from geometric shapes to evoke elegance and modernity, the fashion design of the era was also influenced by an increased ability to travel world wide – bringing inspiration not only from modernism, but from faraway places such as Russia, Egypt, and Mexico.

The show includes 66 different gowns representing some of the most important fashion designers in the world in the 1920s and 1930s, including Chanel, Lanvin, Vionnet, Patou, and Schiaparelli. Handbags, hats, shoes, and jewelry are also on display to further illustrate the use of geometric shapes to create sleek, sophisticated designs.

Notable Vancouver items include a black beaded gown worn to the opening of the city's Commodore Cabaret in 1929; a red and gold lamé evening dress made from fabric depicting the battles of the Trojan War; and a modest, yet stylish, navy polka dot dress made by the Aurora Dress Company of Vancouver around 1927.