Trompe l'Oiel

Posted on July 11 2016

These days at Le Cou we're taking less inspiration from the runway, and more from surrealist painters. You might even say (ok, it's a bit of a stretch) that we’re making  wearable 3-D optical illusions, in which the viewer is fooled into believing the illusion. The dickey, it turns out, is not what it seems: A Trompe l’Oeil  – to fool the eye – if you will. 
This idea is not new in the fashion world. Elsa Schiaparelli was making Trompe l’Oeil sweaters in 1927, which launched her career, and nearly a century later are still extremely cool. Below, Schiaparelli and some of her Trompe l'Oeil designs. 
Elsa Schiaparelli Surrealist Fashion Le Cou
Three decades later Roberta di Camerino made a career out of playing with reality, which solidified her position as the master of fashionable illusion, through her bags and apparel. Check out some amazing vintage di Camerino items for sale right now. Below, di Camerino and one of her handbags. 
di Camerino handbag Trompe l'Oeil Le Cou
The influence of surrealist painters on fashion cannot be underestimated. It turns up on current runway collections from the likes of Commes des Garçon, Maison Martin Margiela, Moschino, and most recently Gucci's 2016 Spring show. (Below, from left to right: Shoes, Commes des Garçon; Pink Dresses, Moschino; Green trench Comme des Garçons; Black chalk t-shirt, Maison Martin Margiela.)

Commes des Garçon, Pink dresses Moschino; Green trench Comme des Garçons; Black chalk t-shirt, Maison Martin Marginal, Le Cou, Dickey
When we imagine what di Camerino and Schiaparelli might have been thinking about as they designed their collections, we like to think they wanted to give their wearers all of the look, and none of the bulk. Everything she needed, nothing she didn’t. They challenged the general assumptions about what a sweater, a belt, a blouse and a bag were. And perhaps most of all they wanted the wearer's personality to be supported her clothing and accessories. A big surrealist salute to these pioneering women!
Surrealist fashion, Le Cou dickey

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