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Gustav Klimt, 1862-1918, Emilie Flöge, 1902
To commemorate 100 years since the death of Gustav Klimt we're delighted to have launched a collection of three stunning pocket squares. This Portrait of Emilie Flöge, painted in 1902, was the first to present her as a bejewelled icon, a gilded beauty whose decorative trappings constitute a metaphorical chastity belt. Directly anticipating the "gold" portraits of 1906-1907, the picture was exceedingly radical for its day and works beautifully in this instance as a pocket square, providing a pattern of colour and design that provides variation and vibrancy when worn in the pocket.
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Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and the leader of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objets d'art. In addition to the figurative works he is best known for, and which include allegories and portraits, he also painted stunning landscapes.
Early in his artistic career, he was a successful painter of architectural decorations and, as he developed a more personal style, his work was the subject of controversy that culminated when the paintings he completed around 1900 for the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna were criticized as pornographic. He subsequently accepted no more public commissions but achieved a new success with the paintings of his "golden phase", many of which include gold leaf.
Klimt was a master of symbolism and embedded allusions to sexuality and the human psyche in his rich, lavishly decorated figures and patterns. The messages—often of pleasure, sexual liberation, and human suffering— were thinly veiled. His bolder, more risqué pieces, depicting voluptuous nudes and entwined bodies, scandalized the Viennese elites. Even so, the city’s establishment still adored his work and frequently commissioned him to paint their portraits. His peers were similarly enthralled with his style, recognizing his groundbreaking injection of sexuality, atmosphere, and expression into figurative painting.
Emilie Flöge was a member of the Viennese bohemian and Fin de siècle circles and she was the life companion of Klimt. In 1891, Helene, the older sister of Emilie, married Ernst Klimt, the brother of Gustav Klimt. When Ernst died in December 1892, Gustav was made Helene's guardian. At the time Emilie was 18 years old and Gustav became a frequent guest at the home of her parents, spending the summers with the family at Lake Attersee. In partnership with her sister Helene, Emilie established herself as a successful businesswoman and the owner of the haute couture fashion salon known as Schwestern Flöge (Flöge Sisters) in one of the major Viennese thoroughfares.
During her trips to London and Paris she familiarised herself with the latest fashion trends from Coco Chanel and Christian Dior, however, after the Anschluss with the German Third Reich in 1938, Flöge lost her most important customers and had to close her salon, which had become the leading fashion venue for Viennese society.
The art of hand rolling pocket squares is a unique craft and truly makes each piece individual and unique. We feel that the precision and care taken by our skilled artisans gives each scarf its own unique character, finish and feel. To create the finest rolled hems, the edge of the silk or cotton pocket square must be softy turned over with a handheld needle and then small stitches are inserted approximately one half to one centimetre apart around the edge, creating a supple yet prominent border.
It’s absolutely the best way to finish a pocket square for a variety of reasons but the key ones are for both visual effect and structure. Rolling by hand is the only way to get a really nice clean plump finish on the edge and this gives a really nice depth to the edges. It’s a more expensive process than machine rolling but by using a machine you’re often left with a flat edge and you don’t get the same luxurious feel. On top of this, the rolled edges add a lot more structure to your pocket square.
Gustaf Cederström 1845-1933, Bringing Home the Body of King Karl XII of Sweden, c.1877-78. © Nationalmuseum, Stockholm 100% Silk Hand Rolled Designed and Printed in Britain 42cm x 42cm This...
Peter Paul Rubens 1577 – 1640, The Fall of Phaeton, c.1604/5 100% Silk Hand Rolled Designed and Printed in Britain 42cm x 42cm This pocket square features the ancient Greek...
The Death of Major Peirson, 6th January 1781, John Singleton Copley, 1783, © Tate, London 2014 On this pocket square we’ve used a large oil painting by American artist John Singleton Copley that depicts the death of...
Hans Makart 1840-1884, Valkyrie and a Dying Hero, c.1877-78. © Nationalmuseum, Stockholm 100% Silk Hand Rolled Designed and Printed in Britain 42cm x 42cm In Norse mythology, a valkyrie is one...