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Decodence: Legendary Interiors and Illustrious Travelers Aboard the SS Normandie

An exhibit celebrating the legendary Deco-era opulence of the SS Normandie

by Ami Kealoha in Style on 23 February 2010

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At the height of the Art Deco era, the SS Normandie, an opulent transatlantic ocean liner fitted with lavish furnishings, attracted the most sophisticated passengers of the day. To commemorate the stylish ship, NYC's South Street Seaport teamed up with Lalique—the French label responsible for much of the glamorous interior—for an exhibition opening this Thursday, 25 February 2010, and appropriately titled Decodence. Featuring original furnishings, rare passenger photographs, video footage, voyage logs, uniforms and fashion accessories, the show dives into the history of the glamorous vessel (before it was converted to a troop ship and caught fire in 1942) and we have a few exclusive images from the project to share with you.

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The gem-like "floating city" arrived in New York City's harbor in 1935 to over 100,000 spectators eager to check out the liner's impressive structure. Pillars covered in Lalique glass stood tall in the three-hundred-foot-long dining room, a winter garden boasted exotic flora and fauna, the first theater-at-sea entertained, while an 80-foot-long swimming pool provided a place for leisure and exercise. Art Deco luminaries, including Hermés, Raymond Subes, Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann and Jean Dupas, designed many of the maiden voyage's features. Organizers even tracked down the only surviving example of Hermés' contribution, an exceedingly chic boat-shaped clutch given to first class passengers. (Pictured below.)

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Jeremy Scott created a limited edition shirt and Lalique reissued their original 1931 Cabochon glass ring. All the exhibit-related products,pictured in the gallery below, sell exclusively through the South Street Seaport Museum shop or by calling +1 212 748 8733.

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