Carnival-ism

15 Feb

Who says fun and games can’t inspire a fashion-ism to take hold? Inspiration can come from any direction; fashion is simply a reflection of the ideals of a society. In this festive time of year, we bring out our most vivid selves and recall a time when the spirit was light and the fabric heavy. In the spirit of Carnevale, take a look at costumes that recall the more elaborate times and let’s see how we’ve adapted them today:


The people of the Renaissance and beyond knew what it was to have some personality in their dress. The detail and the shapes of the costumes they wore can never functionally be duplicated today. However, it is always fun to dress in costume from years past, just to get a glimpse of the glamour and the extravagance in they lived everyday. It is from these costumes that our fashion is born. Looking at each outfit, we can pull a few ideas. The first one uses contrast – red and black; a bright with its opposite and all the symbolism that comes with the color red. She has a tight bodice with a full skirt. This was the desired shape then and it remains today. The detail in that skirt can be seen, with its open tulle and cascading ruffled sides. The second one is obvious – it’s a typical renaissance shape, but incredibly detailed and filled with stones. The ruffled 3/4 sleeves are another useful adaptation. From the other 2 we get use of ruffles to accent certain parts of the body, a flaired shorter skirt, poufed shoulders, and extreme use of color. All essential in fashion today. Without these pictures I could essentially be describing an outfit seen in today’s stores. Just dial it up and we have an original piece from Europe in its era of change. Here are some trickle downs you can find today:

We have here members from Cooper, Forever 21, Luella, and Anna Sui. They all employ elements borrowed and modified from their ancient ancestors. We will continue to be influenced by ghosts of the past as we are reminded from where our current fashions emerged through the game of dress-up.

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