The story of one portrait. How the project was realized

Inception of an idea

(Lace collar 16-17th century)

Dutch women's costume of the 17th century.


The influence of classicism on the fashion of the XVII century is particularly pronounced in France and England, but still, as well as in architecture and fine art in the costume of this period organically combines elements of classicism and in architecture and fine arts, the costume of this period organically combines elements of both classicism, and Baroque, despite their contradictory nature.


Lace and guipure, whose woven patterns resemble printed and woven designs, are widely spread. Lace is used to decorate collars, cuffs, aprons, even stockings and shoes.


Collars were worn until the 40s and 60s of the XVII century, and later they were replaced by kerchiefs made of light transparent fabrics such as gas and chiffon, trimmed with lace on the edges.


(Portrait of a Young Woman with a Fan, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1633, Metropolitan Museum of Art)

The shining whiteness of the Dutch fabric - batiste, from which the collar and cuffs were made, contrasted beautifully with the dark colors of the main clothes. It created an image of a man of mental purity, modest, neat and thrifty. 


The Flemish have long been famous for their fabrics, especially woolen, and in the XVII century cloth, mainly in dark colors, was the most common material for clothing. Different textures of velvet and satin, sometimes moire, were tastefully combined in ceremonial toilettes.


Portrait painting played an important role in the spread of fashion. Outstanding Dutch painters of the XVII century in their portraits with high detail conveyed the opulent rich costume of the nobility.


Women wore two dresses at the same time: a lighter lower dress and a darker upper dress. The upper dress was open from the waist to the floor, revealing the skirt of the satin or brocade lower dress.

(Maria Trip, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1639. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam)

The bodice of the upper, swing dress was fastened with buttons on the buttonholes, and in the case of rich ladies - with precious pendants. The neckline of the dress usually had the form of a rack, but could be rounded. An expressive part of the costume was a lagging snow-white collar trimmed with handmade lace. The skirt was no longer supported by a frame and thick pads on the hips, but fell in loose folds. The puffed sleeves were decorated with a slit from elbow to wrist, showing off the colored lining, and were intercepted with ribbons to form puffed bouffants. The sleeve could be of different shapes: then in the form of a single bouffe with longitudinal slits on the colored lining, or in the form of several small bouffes. But always the sleeves were slightly shortened, puffy and had high cuffs with lace. The appearance of Dutch women's costume was very elegant, which was reflected in the nature of the cut of the dress itself and sleeves.

(Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2009)

Fashion is one of the most striking ways of demonstrating the potential of civilization.

It is known that in high fashion from the first decades of its existence there is an unspoken desire of each couturier to occupy his niche, to reveal his type, theme or certain facets of the fashion image. And looking at the work of the great designers who have ever been based as a creative source - on the historical costume, it is easy to notice that first of all behind these masterpieces there is a rich experience of scientific work and thorough study of very, very many factors: the chosen historical epoch and ideals peculiar to it, as well as cutting techniques, constructional features and the artistic and compositional solution of the costume.


In the case of interpretation of historical costume in modern fashion, there are no direct borrowings of costume articles. This is due to the fact that sewing technologies and traditions of wearing clothes have changed, the accents in the costume have shifted, with the help of which certain features of the figure and appearance are emphasized. A woman of the XXI century uses a different corset and a different underwear, modern clothes use materials and finishes with different properties. This means that the approximation to the historical costume is only relative, rather at the level of figurative characteristics, and a distant figurative similarity to the source is created, which is actually a new costume ensemble.

(Gucci Fall 2018 Fashion Show)

Редактор: Anna Korshunova

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