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I took my little ones over to the mall to see how long the line to see Santa was a few days ago. I was singing along in my head to Christmas carols and looking at the lights, trees, store windows, and I seriously stopped in my tracks. Windows were looking very festive and in the window at St. John was this dress…

I stopped and thought “Really…Mondrian’s back”? I really was so confused because I was expecting some fabulous red knit dress with garlands in the windows. The original day dress was done by Yves St. Laurent in 1965 called the “Mondrian”.


It was inspired by the Dutch Artist Piet Mondrian’s famous Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red 1939-1942 which is at the Tate in London.

Modrian was part of a larger art movement called De Stjil. This is the Dutch word for “The Style” which was the art movement that predominated The Netherlands between 1917 and the early 1930’s. It aims to strike a balance between primary colors, black and white, whether the medium is art, architecture, or furniture. Lines were to be horizontal, vertical, and not intersecting, and only rectangular shapes were to be used. 

Gerrit Reitveld’s, who was an architect and a member of De Stijl, designed the famous Red/Blue armchair in 1918 (photo wikepedia). This chair is considered to be one of the most important pieces of twentieth century furniture. His ideas were inspired by the plank-and-rail furniture of Frank Lloyd Wright

The Reitveld House (1924) in the Netherlands is the only fully completed architectural structure that completely adheres to the principles of De Stijl.  

An interior picture you can see the Red/Blue Chair on the left

While many other movements had a more significant impact on Modernism, De Stijl was certainly vey influential. The same afternoon that I saw the colorblock dress, my January 2009 issue of Architectural Digest’s arrived in the mail. I flipped through it and stopped as the issue features an amazing residential project bySteven Ehrlich Architects. While this house is more rooted in early California Modernism than Dutch, the De Stijl influences are very apparent. Ehrlich sucessfully uses more materials, colors and textures.

I love the yellow chairs against the blue sky. I think Mondrian and Reitveld would have been pleased with the color choice!

Lance Aram Rothstein designed interior tiles based on Mondrian’s works.

apparently even Nike’s doing it..

who knows, maybe Santa will arrive in this.

you just might see me around town this spring in a color block dress. I am liking it. Anyone else?

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