Thursday, March 19, 2015

Fancy, That

Chantilly lace and a pretty face...

There are three terms you need to know for Spring/Summer 2015— chantilly, broderie Anglaise and guipure. No wonder I learned French in high school; it's the language of fashion.

And why are those three so important? Because saying "lace" won't get the point across. This year's lace looks are not mere trimmings; they have heft. And the look of romantic white lace is everywhere. March Vogue has given it 12 pages, Alberta Ferretti a whole collection.

Lest you set out looking for the wrong lace, here's your whole-y primer:

> Chantilly lace is the most delicate. This finely detailed lace was first developed in Chantilly, France, in the 17th century. It features a distinct outline style and was often made into shawls. A certain bride's wedding gown featured Chantilly lace.

The lace looks familiar...

> Broderie Anglaise ("English embroidery") is similar to eyelet but more intricately detailed, using a combination of eyelet and buttonhole stitches. The technique originated in the 17th century but was most popular in the mid-Victorian era. Originally used on undergarments, it's decidedly less formal.

A Broderie bolero

> Guipure (pronounced "ghee-pure") first appeared in France in the 1840s and is taken from the word for "tape". The patterns are elegant and densely woven. Guipere lace is used more for an entire garment than as mere trim.

Hanging by a thread

Vogue's lace portfolio was photographed by Peter Lindbergh and styled by the indomitable Grace Coddington. They took a "Picnic at Hanging Rock" theme. What I recall from that 1975 movie was a creepy story, magnificent Australian landscapes and gorgeous Victorian summer dresses. Released during the very hippiest part of the '70s, the movie no doubt influenced a lot of summer dresses that year as well.

"Picnic at Hanging Rock" 1975
Peter Lindbergh for Vogue 2015

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