Born in Paris, France in 1887, Georges Lepape studied at the famous École des Beaux-Arts. In 1910 he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne, where he met the great designer Paul Poiret. They became friends and began working together. In 1911, he illustrated Poiret’s brochure, Les Choses de Paul Poiret. It was illustrated in a very similar style of Poiret’s previous brochure, Robes de Paul Poiret by Paul Iribe.
Shortly after, Mr. Lepape, left to work for designer Jean Patou, where he illustrated Patou’s collections. During this period he illustrated many magazine covers for the likes of the Gazette Du Bon Ton, Femina, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vanity Fair. In 1923, Mr. Lepape produced theatre costumes designs for Maurice Maeterlinck’s The Blue Bird. However, after the war, he focused on less fashion-orientated projects, and illustrated for advertising and publishing.
Georges Lepape’s style is without doubt a product of his period. Very influenced by the Art Deco movement, but equally influenced by Persian miniatures, which was only just being discover by western artists. The two styles draw a lot of parallels, their strong geometric shapes and bright colours. However I would attribute his ligne claire sensibilities to the miniatures.
As with a lot of the early 20th century illustrator’s, it is hard to find a good body of their work in one place, however Vogue have a great collection of his covers on their website.