Fashion History: Art Deco & Erté

Paper dress by Jennifer Oberg. Commissioned by Hui No`eau Visual Arts Center.

I have always been inspired by the artist and designer, Erté. I love his designs so much! Two years ago, I was commissioned by the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center to create a paper dress for their end of the year, annual shopping extravaganza, Hui Holidays. Erté was my primary influence for creating this dress! Find out more about him below…

Born in 1892 in Russia, Romain de Tiroff, known as Erté designed his first dress for his mother at the age of five–a natural talent. Erté left Russia to go live in Paris with the aspirations of becoming a designer in 1910. He worked for Paul Poiret for a year before entering an esteemed illustration career. In 1915, he began his twenty year work relationship with Harper’s Baazar where the magazine included a color illustration by him every month. He created over 240 covers for the magazine! He went on to create entire wardrobes for theatres, screen actresses and Operas. He even created elaborate production designs at the Paris Opera, New York’s Radio City Music Hall and Casino de Paris. 

Erté’s work captured the art deco movement, which was known for having bold geometry, bright colors, order and glamour. Art deco was a very popular design style during the 1920s and 1930s. It drew inspiration from Cubism, Constructivism, Futurism, Bauhaus principles and the de Stijl movement. A significant amount of the architecture, design and art around the world is inspired by Art Deco. Architects Edward Durell Stone and Donald Deskey drew inspiration from Art Deco when designing the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Look around and see where you notice Art Deco influences in your towns or cities! What art movements and artists are you inspired by? Comment below!

Pictured are some photos of Erté’s work! Click here for more information about the paper dress I made for the Hui! 



Dressmaking & Falling in Love

At the Atelier, we do many different things!  We wanted to share a bit more about our custom wedding gowns, what that experience entails, and a little love story of our own.

For many brides it is their first time going through an entire dressmaking process, and it is amazing for them to see how their idea can be transformed into the sample toile, into fabric, and then all the way through to the final, finished gown.” — Jennifer

The custom wedding gown process includes an initial meeting, a design consultation, a visual design, a toile (or sample of your gown), the creation of your final gown, and before you know it, you have your custom wedding gown complete! After you’ve undergone the dressmaking experience, there is one final perk to ensure it is a memory that stays with you forever. A beautiful painting of your custom-made wedding gown will be created by Maui-based artist, Craig Mullins, who also happens to be my husband.

Craig is a wonderfully talented artist and concept designer. He has created art for numerous films: Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Babe, Flubber, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Matrix Revolutions, and many other feature films. He has also created art for books, video games, and films. You can find his work at And if you are wondering how we met…We were both working in Hollywood at the time. Mutual friends set us up on a blind date. Our first date was at the Hollywood Canteen. And you know how people say it was love at first sight, and often you brush it off and think that isn’t actually a real thing? Well, that’s exactly what our first date was, it was simply love at first sight.

So to conclude, the dressmaking process is a very unique and special process curated to you and with you the entire way. It is accentuated with the perk of a one-of-a-kind painting by my husband Craig. And every part of the process is woven with love, care, and the most meticulous attention to detail.