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.