Blog Part Nouveau, or ‘partly new’, delves into fashion history to showcase the inspiration–be it art, photography or design–behind some of today’s biggest fashion moments. It’s fascinating and impossible not to get lost in, so we asked the site’s founder, Lilah Ramzi, to give us a little history lesson each week.
When it comes to Victorian design, less was not more but rather quite the opposite as conspicuous consumers placed a high value on “things.” And the more, the better. Fashion design, textiles, and decorative arts of the period followed a busy, multi-media-like aesthetic that reflected the era’s booming and increasingly industrialized society. A designer’s skill was measured by his ability to blend motifs, patterns, and materials adorned with the 19th-century staples of lace, beads, and ribbon. And let’s not forget the extreme silhouettes of the period including bustle-backs, hoop skirts, and pouf-sleeves. Suffice to say, there was a lot going on.
The more is more philosophy was also employed by Marc Jacobs in his latest collection, which pulled inspiration from an expanse of historical elements. A melting pot of a collection, the show featured elements from military-style outerwear, art deco textiles by Raoul Duffy, and jet-beaded Victorian mourning gowns–complete with leg-o-mutton sleeves. A look from Jacobs’s spring 2014 collection shares an affinity with a 19th-century gown housed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.