All Hands on Deco

In 1925, photographer Edward Steichen shot then-model Kendall Lee—later to be the actress wife of Oscar-winning director Lewis Milestone—for a Vogue spread called “The New Jewelry.” She wore diamonds. She wore pearls. She wore onyx. But most important, she wore Cartier, whose geometric designs and striking black and white jewels were the coolest of the cool among rich avant-garde fashionistas. That year, at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriel Modernes, the term Art Deco was born, and Cartier pushed it forward. “The diamonds and onyx ebb and flow, unlike t
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