Friday, July 4, 2008

Raphael, McQueen and a multitude of Dresses

My recent holiday in Italy meant a lovely and very welcome abundance of Renaissance art. To be honest, in the past I have been rather narrow - minded towards Renaissance art, considering it to be dull, lifeless and overly religious. It was with great surprise then, that I found my self in complete awe with so many of the great works and with the immense galleries quite often knocking the breath from my lungs. Detail of the Profane love from Titian's Sacred and Profane Love
Of course not only were the styles and techniques; the chiaroscuro and sfumato, Classicism versus Mannerism etc. etc. all utterly captivating but I also just love the depictions of clothing of that era. Deep, plumy colours, blood reds and smoke - crumpled royal blues. Rich rolls of thick, scrunchy fabric, sweeping capes and tumbling shawls. Gauzy, sheer maiden dresses and plump -sleeved Madonna gowns. Ornate and dazzling jewellery, gold - ringed curls and swollen cheeks of creamy peach. The otherworldly glow of pinks and teals, intricate corsets and the wondrous billowing of enormous dresses. With all this swimming happily about in my mind, it was with great delight then, that so many pieces from both the s/s and a/w collections reminded me of this so very sumptuous decked out era.

Who would have thought Raphael's most famous work would have me thinking of Alexander McQueen?! The drapery and asymmetrical one - shoulder designs at Hermes and this royal blue ballet dress at McQueen echoed the legendary depiction of Plato and Aristotle conversing in flowing gowns and thick drapes of fabric.

The mint green Marchesa is perhaps my favourite of all the dresses I chose for this post. It's elegant and classical and reminds me of a Renaissance maiden dress.

I love the Raphael painting Lady with a Unicorn and find the olive and russet colouring very autumnal. Similar shades are used in Cecelia and I love how the coils of Zac Posen beads reminded me of this work.

Red is a favourite colour of Renaissance dress. Symbolising, royalty and passion it always makes a bold statement. Alexander McQueen's a/w collection was full of drama and opulence corresponding aptly with Renaissance art.

Botticelli's Primavera reminded me of Sonia Rykiel's s/s sheer nymph dresses. The Three Graces dancing on the left hand side of the painting represent the three phases of love - beauty, desire and fulfillment.

The blue gown that the Madonna wears in this painting reminds me of the airy dresses of shades of blue that floated about this season.
For some reason these mood boards are not enlarging even though they should. Apologies!


MR style said...

wow amazin post !! lucky u havin been to Italy !! it's such a good opportunity

Lana said...

Wonderful post! You have such a good eye for details!
And that mint green Marchesa dress is just so well chosen and it's beautiful too!

rohit said...


you are fantastic!!!

a kiss for you, my dear friend!

god bless u dear

can we exchange our link

r u ready to do?


você é fantástico!

um beijo para você, meu caro amigo!

Deus te abençoe u Caro

podemos trocar os nossos link

r u disposta a fazer?


Love this post. It seems that Italy inspired you a lot and the correspondences between Renaissance Art and fashion are amazingly well found. First visit but I'll come back.

LML said...

wow! great post! the inspirations next the dresses are real eye candy!


Thanks for your visit and comment. I listed you on my blogroll. Have a great week-end.

The Clothes Horse said...

Wonderful comparisons. So gorgeous!

Gillie said...

fantastic! beautiful dresses. i really love the red and white zac posen.

coco said...

I am in love with the Sonia Rykiel dress. It is so pretty!

Gillie said...

thank you!

Anonymous said...

wow amazing post! i'm not usually a fan of renassance art either, but this post makes me want to love it! you did an astounding job on comparing current couture to art, it is evident from your photos that McQueen and Marchesa were heavily influenced by Raphael etc. great eye! btw, I read your icons post i missed before, and I think you're right, what on earth will we be remembered for? it's a bit frusturating because everything we wear seems to be a rehash of something other decade, 80s was in 2 years ago, and now we're back into the 70s for example. i mean maybe those decades at the time weren't so obvious either, but i still feel behind in some way too. who will be remembered? kate moss? agyness? hmmm

Jen (MahaloFashion) said...

You can definitely tell it was the inspiration for many designers and their collections!

Elisabeth said...

I also love the mint green Marchesa dress <3

Fashion Ivy said...

Love this post. I agree with you on the comparisons. Before I might not have seen it, but now that you put them togethere it's like wow

Héloïse J. said...

amazing! it's true what you've seen entre les deux. i absolutely adored mcqueen's collection. it's simply divine.

cotton candy said...

amazing amazing post! such wonderful inspirations. if only we lived in a time where we could just sashay out onto the streets wearing those dresses

The Clothes Horse said...

So true, love is blind! It is exceedingly silly to dislike a certain band because you believe they are on drugs...considering how few bands aren't! Even the Beatles had their issues and most people would admit that they were an AMAZING band with a place in the history books!

Kira Fashion said...

so great and similar!

a kiss!!

la petite fashionista said...

isn't it interesting how life imitates art? great comparisons. ah makes me want to go back to italy!


lucy said...

yes, you have an excellent appreciation of the fashion world!

Love your blog. I've added you to my blog roll.

Molly :] said...

Your Italy trip sounds like so much fun! I'd love to visit, i haven't been there since i was little.
Your right, the beautiful Renaissence paintings are totally in tone with this seasons dresses.
Great post! :)

Krystal said...

Love the blog! Keep up the great work!


Kira Fashion said...


a kiss

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