The Russian revolution completely renewed the art field as all the artistic productions related to daily uses were given the possibility to be distributed on a larger scale. Furniture, fabrics, clothes and small objects: the new men of the Revolution needed an industrial product, designed with a modern taste, according to the Bauhaus style.
Nevertheless not everything concerning clothes and fabrics became a mass-product. The majority of art projects were left just as prototypes.
Fabric design was one of the most important artistic expression of the time and designers had to invent new patterns, avoiding the use of classical flowers and leaves. The designer was considered an artist, not an artisan: many fabric factories required a new generation of artists, able to reproduce their paintings on a cotton fabric. Many artists (mostly women) were fascinated by the idea to merge pure art with industrial revolution, to cooperate for an aesthetic conversion of life.
The sketches were composed of geometrical shapes (circles, diamonds, grids, zigzags) or they referred to the industrial revolution, with symbols as gears and wheels. Even the new symbols of Soviet state, as sickle, hammer and red stars, were used to compose bi-dimensional patterns.
These kind of patterns, though, didn’t become the new trend as they were too bound to Constructivism and people needed more practical subjects, something that could remind them of social and economical changes taking place in Russia.
New kind of fabrics were created with patterns that expressed a specific topic, with a propagandistic purpose. Industrialization, yard, factory, airplane, sport, the ear of corn were the iconographic protagonists of the fabric patterns between 1920 and 1930.
The majority of the artists created those kind of patterns with an emblematic subject that was placed inside a conventional geometric structure, based on a modular scan. Due to the poor technological resources, colors were reduced to two or three, but this encouraged artists to emphasize the decorative aspect of their patterns, as dynamic as the practices of the cultural movements of the beginning of the 20th century.
The images in this post represent the more widely used symbols appearing on patterns during the Russian revolution and they’re a gorgeus portrayal of the link between art, fashion and social culture.