Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Point of Fashion

"The Seine and La Grande Jatte Springtie," 1886 by Seurat 

From afar, the paintings appear like any other, with colorful brush strokes giving life to forms across the canvas.  But step a little closer, and you quickly realize these are not traditional brush strokes that spread color with smooth and continuous movements. But rather, the forms that seemed so realistic and whole from a distance are actually comprised of thousands of tiny paint dots.  
"Eiffel Tower," 1889 by Seurat

This method, called Pointillism, became famous in the late 1800s by artists like Georges Seurat and  Paul Signac. The artists embraced scientific studies on color theory and instead of blending their paints to create different colors, they placed certain color dots next to one another. By doing this, the colors blended in the viewer’s mind rather than on the canvas.
"Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte," 1884-86 by Seurat 

Designer Monique Lhuillier appeared to embrace a similar approach to representing colors and patterns in her spring collection. Her ode to Pointillism did not stick to dots, but also used flowers and splattered colors to create patterns.

 "The Port of Saint-Tropez," 1901 by Signac 

At a distance, the fabrics appear to have a large pattern that take on forms with the cut of the dresses. But they are actually comprised of many small shapes that make up the bigger design. 
Though Lhuillier’s use of this technique translates in a more abstract way than Seurat and Signac, it’s still interesting to consider how her placement of colors on the fabrics are interacting with you eyes, mind and perception.

"Golfe-Juan," 1896 by Signac

What could just be a fleck of paint contributes to the larger picture; transforming into  a flower, a garden and landscape.

Runway photos: Vogue.com

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