Wednesday, February 16, 2011

She's Like a Parfum...

I have been thinking a lot about inspiration this week at RARE vintage.  Our clients often have their own personal inspiration boards.  Only it is not an actual board but a state of being or a thought or an idea.  And this idea will make them want to track down a Balenciaga from the 1960s, a Saint Laurent from the 1970s, an Alaia from the 1980s or a Stephen Sprouse from the 1990s.   And when we vintage people are on the scent, we don't let go!  We are relentless!  It takes one to know one.  And I am one.

Designers too always have an inspiration board.  This week American Designers have been inspired by the dusty prairie's of North Dakota (Corn Cob Palace anyone?  Or is that in South Dakota??) (Rodarte), the American West (Proenza Schouler), a Robert Polidori book on the restoration of the Palace of Versailles (Jason Wu) and the faded Mrs. Haversham who hermited herself away in her decaying mansion in Great Expectations (Prabal Gurung).  

But the inspiration that I think is most like mine, which is most close to my philosophy for RARE vintage is what John Galliano said in the Spring Fashion 2011 issue of New York Magazine:  

NYMagazine: So who is the muse this time?
John Galliano: She is always elusive.  I'm always chasing her.  She's an essence, a spirit.  Like a parfum.

The RARE vintage muse is also like a parfum.

Who is the woman who inspired this 1980s Valentino haute couture cocktail dress?  

Maybe it was not a woman but a place.  Maybe in the way Degas, Monet, Van Gogh and Bonnard were inspired by Japonisme,

William Merrit Chase.  Peonies.  1897

Valentino was inspired to create this exotic scene from the "floating world".  The "floating world" or Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese woodblock prints and paintings from the 17th to the 20th centuries that were inspired by the landscape, historic tales and beautiful courtesans.

Ando Hiroshige (one of the most famous Ukiyo-e artists)

The bodice of this leopard printed silk gazar cocktail dress is surely inspired by a painting of Japanese cherry blossoms and a temple at the foot of perhaps the Kamiji mountains.  

Valentino has said,  "Art is an inexhaustible source of wealth and joy."

Or maybe Valentino was inspired by the art of handcraft.  He has also said that to do embroidery like this now, "you would have to sell an Italian bank."

It is really something fantastic.  It is like a painting in silk, thread and sequins.  A work of art done by a master embroiderer of haute couture.  Now the question is do you wear it or gaze at it?  Perhaps both?  Green tea anyone?  Or perhaps a snow cold sake?  Decisions, decisions...

1980s Valentino haute couture finely embroidered cocktail dress.  Size 6/8.


No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails