Deco Dandy

Designing masculinity in 1920s Paris

By John Potvin

Deco Dandy


  • eBook
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3479-0
  • Pages: 352
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: October 2020
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Gender studies: men, Art History, France, Fashion & textiles, HISTORY / Europe / France, Art & Design Styles: Art Deco, History, History Of Fashion, ART / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945), DESIGN / Fashion, Modern History, Modern Art
  • Series: Studies in Design and Material Culture


Deco dandy contests the supposedly exclusive feminine aspect of the style moderne (art deco) by exploring how alternative, parallel and overlapping experiences of decorative modernism, nationalism, gender and sexuality in the years surrounding World War I converge in the protean figure of the 'deco dandy'. The book suggests a broader view of art deco by claiming a greater place for the male body, masculinity and the dandy in this history than has been given to date. Important and productive moments in the history of the cultural life of Paris presented in the book provide insights into the changing role performed by consumerism, masculinity, design history and national identity.


'Beautifully produced and elegantly written, to say Deco Dandy is an important book is an understatement. It is an instant classic.'
Joseph McBrinn, Journal of Design History

'Copiously illustrated, Potvin's six chapters allow us to observe how the films of L'Herbier, the paintings of Dardel, and the dances of Börlin, along with the pages of Monsieur and a few other journals of the time, disseminated a fascinating array of images that register overlapping notions of modern style, movement, interior design, sartorial elegance, masculinity, effeminacy, androgyny, and same-sex eroticism...'
Michael Lucey, French Studies

'A truly important book about a critically formative period in modern times, this book is highly recommended.'
Sun News Tucson


1 Deco, the ensemble and Einfühlung
2 Shame and melancholia
3 Silhouette and movement
4 Décor and sobriety
5 Elegance and civilization
6 Industry and luxury


John Potvin is Professor of Art History at Concordia University, Montreal

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