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9.12.2012

[ TRENDING TAPESTRY ] Harper's Bazaar USA October 2012



Hugely popular this season, the tapestry aesthetic has graced runways and high streets alike, and when I stumbled across this richly ornate and luxuriantly feminine shoot by Photographer Richard Burbridge and Stylist Tony Irvine for Harper's USmy fingers began twitching, and alas to Wandering Threads it came.

One of this seasons best use of the trend (and one of my lifelong designer lustings) is Dolce & Gabbana, whose AW12 collection was positively bursting with baroque decadence. Synonymous with luxe fabrics and exquisite detailing, unsurprisingly the label is leading the trend with its rose motif body-con dresses and embroidered tapestry effect peplum corset tops, while others such as Balmain take brocade embellishment to a baroque extreme with gold threaded embroidery edged with thousands of light-catching pearls and crystals.

Of all the seasons to stop travelling and dedicate those extra funds to sprucing up a long-forlorn winter wardrobe, I couldn't have picked a time more apt!

I'm in love with all things tapestry. Perhaps it's that vintage (and at times rather kitsch) appeal) that sends my mind tumbling into visions of 17th century court ladies surrounded by Caravaggio paintings, just delicately stitching away...Whatever century it sends your mind to, the true beginnings of needlepoint tapestry (or tapestry embroidery as it's more accurately referred) actually stem back to Hellenistic times. However, we associate them (rightly so) with the baroque period due to it's rising popularity as a domestic craft during the 16th & 17th centuries. Apparently some rather famous figures were keen hobbyists, with Mary Queen of Scots (she had a lot of time on her hands...), Marie Antoinette and Queen Elizabeth I all being listed. 

As always, a little history lesson for thread fans.

So, be it fashion, art or craft, for me tapestry will always signify a heritage fabric that exudes that wonderful sense of nostalgic craftsmanship, of cherished artistry and of time-honoured tradition.  

Images: Visual Optimism
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