Wednesday, April 8, 2009


There are numerous historical art styles such as egyptian art, Greek-Roman art, Renaissance, Impressionism, Rococo, Byzantine, Baroque, Neoclassicism, Gothic and Romanticism. I will explain a few of them with relavent pictures of contemporary designers.


During this period (12th century to Renaissance), architecture was the most represented form of art. The garments had a contrast between tight-fitted and draped silhouettes. Sharp pointed features in the garments such as defined pleats were used. Velvet fabric was also used commonly.

The above pictures are from Givenchy's Fall-Winter 2008 collection. The garments show intricate patterns ornting the apparel. While designing these garments, Riccardo Tisci had cathedrals and monuments of europe in mind. There are hexagonal and structural patterns in the garments. His inspiration was "Gothic Art".


The salient feature of this art style was its 'abstract' and anti-naturalistic character. Another feature is the patterns of the mosaics used in churches and palaces. Garments during this period had hevy embroidery on them. Ornamentation was not only done on garments, but also on accessories such as shoes, bags, belts, etc.

The above garments are from Chanel's 2009 Pre-Fall colletion. The dresses have the tall, gold and red, elegant look. The head pieces used are also influenced strongly from Byzantine art. Chanel has shown sleek garments with elaborate pieces in this mystical Byzantine theme.

The above dress is by Christian Lacroix Fall 2006 Couture Collection. This byzantine-inspired dress is a stunning, gold brocade gown with swarowski-like crystals and gold embroidery decorating the neckline, waistline and cuffs.


During this period, garments had a lot of influence of paintings, sculptures and architecture in them. The most striking feature was the wide necklines in gowns. Combinations of colors and textures that were used were very subtle.

The above garments are from John Galliano's 2007 collection that was shown in the Paris Fashion Week. He thought that Renaissance influence was perfect for his dresses and he also thought that they were perfect to fit into any Shakespeare novel.


Garments were exaggerated in shape and form and elaborate on colors and textures. Accessories were also voluminous. A focal point was created in the garments with the help of huge collars, or wide cuffs, etc.

The above picture is by Josiah Chua Kian, one of the 10 finalists of the Cuckoo Couture Design Awards organized by The Butter Factory. He created this baroque inspired dress to convey a bold message. His dress was soft and angelic and couture-like. He gave an avant-garde look to his garment. The hemline of the garment is exaggerated.

The above picture is by Basso and Brooke Fall 2009 collection. They created these outfits with baroque-inspiration with the neck being emphasized by a heavy scarf.

This dress is by Lacroix during his Fall 2006 collection. This garment had heavy ruffled collars and sleeve hems. He has used electric and neon hues.


Garments during this period were also quite influenced by decorative paintings and sculptures. They usually had low necklines. Elaborate hairstyles were used. The fabrics used were very expensive.

The above pictures are from the Fall 2007 Couture collection of Christian Dior.


Garments during this period had unnatural waistlines (higher than normal), Ballooning effect on hemlines of garments, leg-of-mutton sleeves, corsets. Tailoring was given a lot of importance. A lot of colors and fabrics were used.

The above garments are from Lanvin's Spring 2007 Ready-to-wear Collection.

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