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Having first appeared in Paris in the late 1920s before sweeping the world in the decades following, Art Deco has captured the hearts and imaginations of design lovers from all around the globe. With its mix of functionality, modernity, and glorious geometric aesthetic, Art Deco’s angular, curious designs were a distinct departure from the sweeping curves and curlicues of its Art Nouveau predecessor and from the austerity of the depression era. It’s an aesthetic that’s alive and well today, cropping up surprisingly often in weddings and formal events. So if you’re going vintage for your wedding, why not opt for a cake sculpted and moulded in a way reminiscent of one the finest movements of 20th century design?

Today on LWH Melbourne-based cake designer Rouvelee Ilhan chats with us about how to go about recreating that timeless Art Deco aesthetic.

Capturing that Art Deco theme

(Cake design by Rouvelee)

Whether you’re planning to have an Art Deco-themed wedding or just want to jazz up your wedding reception with an Art Deco cake, there are several factors to be mindful of to make sure your ideas will translate into the actual design of the cake.

Art Deco is characterised by its geometric designs and bold lines, and Rouvelee notes that capturing this design aesthetic in a wedding cake requires precision.

“A challenge that comes to mind would be in decorating bold patterns or repetitive patterns. Couples should be mindful that a pattern that looks simple to the eye does not necessarily mean that it’s easy to do. Sometimes it can be labour intensive, such as when a pattern needs to be hand cut. These types of techniques would definitely affect the overall cost of the cake because you are paying for labour as well,” Rouvelee says.

An Art Deco wedding cake’s elaborate design is far from being simple and easy to make.  Rouvelee reiterates that there are no short cuts that can be taken, but there are some elements that can be simplified.  ”For instance, instead of decorating the entire side of a tier, you can opt to have only a section decorated, and have that section as a feature for that tier.”

And even the seemingly simple elements of an Art Deco cake represent a challenge. “Clean lines, sharp edges, or square corners really accentuate a cake’s structure. When it comes to decorating the cake, you need to make sure everything is measured.” Rouvelee uses templates for any designs that require an exacting approach to symmetry.

She also points out how important it is to begin with a clean canvas when designing such a cake. “I start with a perfectly levelled cake that is perfectly ganached, and then covered with flawless icing. A well decorated cake always makes the outside ‘pop’.”


Tips for making the most of your Art Deco-themed cake

An Art Deco-themed wedding cake can really put the icing on  cake, especially if the idea is executed well.  Rouvelee shares her expertise and gives the following advice on how to capture that fabulous theme in your wedding cakes:

* Meet up with your cake designer to see whether your designs or ideas can be translated to cake. “Sometimes you can’t really tell whether your ideas are realistic,” says Rouvelee. By meeting up with your designer you’ll have a better understanding of what’s involved and won’t end up disappointed with the final result.

* Choose a cake topper that ties in with the overall theme of your cake, and one that’s durable at that. “If it’s a topper that you would like to keep as a reminder of your special day, ask your designer to have it made in polymer clay,” says Rouvelee. “It’s long-lasting and the colours won’t fade.”

*  For additional wow factor, consider choosing an Art Deco cake design that appears to be cut and layered vertically rather than horizontally.  Rouvelee says that another way of ensuring that a cake catches the eye is to ensure a contrast of colours between the inside and the outside of the cake. “A rainbow colour or even a chequerboard pattern for the layers can be a standout.”

* When displaying your cake, natural light is best. “Depending on the size of the cake, you may wish to have it elevated so that it stands out,” says Rouvelee. A clean, simple background also helps to draw attention to the cake itself.

Contact Rouvelee

Rouvelee’s designs can be found at her website Rouvelee’s Creations; she can also be reached via the Rouvelee’s Creations Facebook page

Image credits:

Deco grill by dfwcre8tive2009

Deco pillar by dfwcre8tive2009

Deco door by colros

Halisbury Chambers by colros

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