It’s the story of forbidden romance and the man who broke the rules in the name of true love. Legend has it that when Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for soldiers in ancient Rome, Valentine ignored the risks and chose to marry young lovers in secret. Though he helped new marriages blossom, he paid the ultimate price and was put to death after he got caught.
This may or may not have been the way Valentine’s Day truly started, but the fact remains that the holiday continues to inspire expressions of love and beauty.
"Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss" by Antonio Canova, 1757-1822
Love and romance have served as artistic inspiration for painters and sculptors for centuries, and as art inspires life, the romance often finds its way to the runways.
A love story often begins with Cupid’s arrow, but what about Cupid’s kiss? The power of his kiss helped bring Psyche back to life according to the Greeks. The mythical story came to life with the classical lines and flowing tunics on the spring Valentino runway.
Years after the Greeks penned the story of Psyche and Cupid, the 12th century love affair of Tristan and Isolde found its way into classic literature. The story is laced in tragedy, but continues to hold us captivated as we imagine the heroine holding the hearts of two men as she navigates the tumultuous path of a love triangle.
"Tristan and Isolde" by Edmund Leighton, 1902
Temperley London Spring 2017
The late 18th century world of the French Rococo movement was full of flirtations and romantic intrigues, and is more light hearted after the heavier story of Tristan and Isolde. From the halls of Versailles to the lush gardens of the countryside, Rococo sweethearts employed the playful demeanor of the period while wearing voluminous gowns ready for romance.
"The Stolen Kiss" by Fragnoard, 1786
Chanel Spring 2017 Couture
A kiss on the cheek, a rendezvous on the garden swing under the watchful eye of Cupid, picnics in the park…all of the dreamy scenarios are translated from paintbrush to fabric with the help of Chanel, Dior, and Alexis Mabille.
"The Musical Contest" by Fragonard, 1755
Dior Spring 2017 Couture
"The Happy Lovers" by Fragonard, 1765
Alexis Mabille Spring 2017 Couture
When words can’t express all that you want to say, try turning up the music and dancing the night away like the ladies and gentlemen of Victorian society.
"The Kiss" by Gustav Klimt, 1908-09
Runway Photos: Vogue.com