This asymmetrical design features flamboyant "gold" chrysanthemums and orange silk lespedeza on a deep blue silk ground. Diagonal lines of the twill-based weave enliven scattered motifs, contributing to its texture and dynamic appearance.
The manufacturer, Maison Henry Bertrand, ranked this pattern among his best and displayed it at the internationally acclaimed Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925. Over six hundred textile designers exhibited their work in the Grand Palais alone. Attended by over sixteen million visitors, the exposition succeeded in changing the public's taste.
Although there are multiple Art Deco styles, floral designs dominated during the ten years after World War I, though little compares to this dynamic pattern. While Europeans had cherished oriental chrysanthemums since the late 1600s, they were captivated in 1861 by Japanese chrysanthemums in particular. As exhibited in this silk, the flowers have immense blossoms-more than eight inches in diameter-varied colors, and variously shaped petals, somewhat akin to tousled hair.
This lightweight silk with excellent drape may have been designed for evening wear as a sensational coat or shawl.