When I was recently in Marrakesh, lost for hours in the labyrinthine souks, I stumbled into a souvenir shop just to gather my bearings for a moment (there is no such thing as solitude for a lone pasty girl in Morocco). I wandered over to the postcards, because as much as I have traveled, I am *terrible* at sending postcards to my friends.
I was delighted when I found miniature recreations of vintage Air France travel posters from the 20s and 30s – the glorious palettes and art deco style seemed so perfectly suited to my new surroundings, and I just had to have them.
I actually sent this one to my bff:
Art deco was a movement that originated in Paris in the 1920s, and at its core, it is based on highly stylized, elegant geometric shapes. This probably explains why it seemed so suited for the highly symmetrical Moorish architecture I was just beginning to experience.
Shop in Marrakesh, by yours truly:
More elaborate example, from Granada (not by yours truly):
Interestingly, the rise of art deco as a predominating style of the 20th century correlated precisely with the Golden Age of Travel. Ocean liners were outfitted with luxurious suites, train lines became increasingly expansive, and the airplane became affordable. It became a possibility, for the first time in human history, for us plebeians to explore new and exotic parts of the world.
The advertisements at the time used vibrant colors and this new, ultra-modern and opulent approach to encourage potential travelers, but what is really lovely is how cyclical this progression ultimately was. As people felt enticed to explore and travel, they brought back inspiring images and design elements from various cultures, which in turn influenced the art deco movement as a whole. Hence why my beloved Morocco found such a perfect contemporary aesthetic home.
It goes without saying that Art Deco became the ubiquitous “look” of modernity for several decades. While it is imperative that I revisit this awesome movement, let us, for the moment, simply celebrate the prettiest postcards and posters **ever**.
And I don’t know about you, but when I think about exotic mysticism and travel, I totally think of IDAHO!!!