A story of buttons


“debouttoner la Mode”, unbutton fashion. (C)MadParis www.madparis.fr

bottone, Art Nouveau, 1900. (C)MadParis

Moooi Button, it works like a barcode

A Garter’s button, 1952 C)MadParis

At first it was about brooches, but then most closures have made by  buttons. It will be that doesn’t exist a real difference between jewls and them.  Apart from anything else people could say concerning: materials,  projects – they was working about it glaziers, potters, painters, goldsmith – or  about the idea that what could be considered precious; I believe the question, at the lowest terms,  concerns  seduction. Buttons represent a promise, at the end their reason to be is hide to the eye. There is an inside and an outside.  And that is interesting because magically we are in front of the opposite idea, the one of “naked truth” . Someone  think that is something more closer to reality. Personally I disagree. I believe nothing is more true than a decoration. I thinkPeople choose an outfit for wearing a personality facet and detail is essential in the same way of a sunny or raining day. The aim is express ourself, be. And for that buttons are a really interesting little objects. Some years ago, at the Museum of Decorative Art of Paris,  took place an exhibit about buttons. There were more than 3.000 pieces, dated from the 18 century to 20, and reunited by Loic Allio. We could find, among them, a button attribuited to Fragonard and  another one carved by Giacometti for Elsa schiapparelli. But I think the nicest thing was the chance of get inspire by something different. Even if not so much . Because, of course, today botton are produced by industry, but sometimes these objects are the protagonists of incredible ideas. Like the one of Moooi, a design producer. They use a button -exactly “The Button”- to signing the autenticity of their creations. I love It’s particularity : be read as a barcode! Magical Marcel Wanders (the Moooi creative director). Elisabetta Guida

  • end of 18th century. (C)MadParis, "Deboutunner la mode"
  • D3signed by Alberto Giacometti for Elsa Schiapparelli, the beginning of 1930. (C)MadParis
  • Textile manufacturing, 1940. (C)MadParis
  • Rebus Button, about 1780. "G C D to his love". (C)MadParis
  • Carles Boutet de Monvel, about 1900, Paris (C)MadParis
  • The button attributed to Fragonard, 18th century (C)MadParis, photo: Jean Tholance
  • Kurt Lewy, about 1930 (C)MadParis
  • Henry Hamm, 1915-1920. (C)MadParis



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