(fash) walking in Giverny with Van Gogh #lfw11

October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Summer will be floral. It’s been quite a while I wanted to post this article but somehow, it got lost among my drafts and I forgot about it. However I’m feeling that the exceptional temperatures we’re currently enjoying in Paris make it a special opportunity to go back on a clear trend of NYFW and LFW: the impressionist painted floral patterns. I know I can sound a bit obsessed with flowers – which might be true – but obviously, I’m not the only one. So, apprently, designers have been inspired by impressionist master Monet, who used to take long walks in his domain in Giverny, France. That’s where he painted the famous series of the Nympheas (below) and thus made us realise the colours of the world weren’t necessarily as we perceived them in the first place. Change your iris.

Brushpaints and floralescent colours, that’s what we get in Christopher Kane‘s S/S 12 collection, as well as in Erdem‘s, a bit in Jenny Packham‘s (small flowers thrown on white canvas), like in Kinder Aggugini‘s. But that’s not all. Gouache was not the only painting medium that inspired fashion designers this time. We also find a bit of watercolour in Lela Rose‘s creations, swirling into abstract orchids. Interesting as we already observed this trend in mass ready-to-wear two years ago (I clearly remember buying a watercolour-pattern dress in Manoukian back then).


But of course, 19th century painters could not be complete without Master Van Gogh, whom Rodarte didn’t hesitate to  call for. Away the trembling references to Monet. Here, dress is the canvas. Dress in the painting.


This reminds us that far from its first function of body covering, dress has always had a decorative function, before turning into proper art. Long before we invented the Fashion Weeks to serve the purposes of this that regents us, Fashion industry, painters and artists found in dress the meaning of the body. Arising it to the level of art made it possible  to be employed as an expression of wearer’s inner sense of aesthetic – if it exists. And here, “upper” art finally collide with fashion, that doesn’t even belong to the series of the traditional arts, because it never lost its functional aspect of dressing the body. Because of its useful aspect, never will it completely be called art, won’t it? So is this a tribute? A challenge? A sarcasm? Well… this is to be debated. In the meantime, sunflowers have escaped from their vases.


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