Thursday, August 26, 2010

Everything old is new again!

Hello my name is Karmen and I am working with Laura this summer as her intern. She has asked me to update her blog with a subject that interests me. So here goes, oh and this is my first blog that I have ever done, so I would love feedback and comments!

One thing I love about fashion is it is always changing, there are always fresh ideas and concepts that designers the world over use as inspiration for whatever project or line they are working on. I also strongly feel that there is no entirely new concept in fashion, but the concepts are already there to be used and interpreted in new ways. This especially true for "retro"/vintage styled garments, the inspiration is from the 1940's-'50's. What's interesting to me is that many top designers who put out "new" lines every year also are seeming to have this viewpoint and many designers are taking their inspiration from decades past.

This year I fell in love with two very different collections each taking a bold and sometimes obvious look at history and translating their inspiration into gorgeous collections for the Fall 2010 runway. The late Lee Alexander McQueen's last bow to fashion was his fall 2010 ready-to-wear collection. It was so sumptuous and luxurious there is no doubt that his inspiration was equally luxurious and beautiful. While Louis Vuitton’s retro inspired Fall 2010 Ready to Wear collection, under the direction of Marc Jacobs, was on the other end of fashion. It was wearable, elegant and yet still with had the luxurious feel that he is known for. The reason I am highlighting these two collections in this post is because I want to show how history and fashion directly correlate, and how fashion though ever changing, always draws from what has already been seen at some point in history.

Lous Vuitton's collection:
What immediately drew my eye was the full skirts and the slim corseted waists, in other words the silhouette. I also wanted to show you examples of how the garments in this collection so closely resemble those worn in decades past. The full circle skirts and tiny waists with an emphasis on the bust is very 1950’s.

The grey suit outfit is reminiscent of the late 1940’s with the details of the high gathered shoulders and the dropped waist of the jacket.

The next three examples are a few of the dresses the Marc Jacobs (the head designer/creative director for Louis Vuitton) that also were heavily influenced by the 1950's, as you can see from the examples of the 1950's patterns shown.

Alexander McQueen:
This collection has inspiration drawn from art from the 17th century, the cartridge pleats from the 1700's fashions as well as art that was printed directly onto his fabrics. This collection is a great way to show how so many themes can go into one collection (or even into one garment).

The gold feathered hat is reminiscent of the roman military helmets, while the cartridge pleats are often seen in 17th century paintings, the painting of the Annunciation by Botticelli has a similar opening on the cape that was used in the long red dress done by McQueen. Another strong element is the Byzantine embroidery (shown above on the cuffs) that was used in many of his garments this season.

This post is only touching on a few elements and examples in which different era's in history are used to influence fashion. There are many more examples out there to find and if anyone is interested I encourage you to keep on the lookout for these references in fashion, whether it is in your own wardrobe, or in the garments you sew yourself or see on the runway.