From an ancient maritime map of Scandinavia, to embroidery work by Japanese artisans and a Rococo painting of Madame de Pompadour, courtesan to King Louis XV: decoding the multi-faceted inspirations behind one of the collection’s most vibrant looks.
Silver embroidery on an emerald silk duchesse bomber recalls centuries-old Asian tapestries. Lavish bows on a diaphanous organdy blouse channels those worn by Europe’s noblewomen in the 18th century. An ancient map depicting sea monsters lurking in the waters around Scandinavia unfurled on a pleated satin skirt. The look from the Spring Summer 2016 collection is a story waiting to be told.
For the striking pieces, creative director Alessandro Michele drew inspiration from divergent sources. The glossy bomber jacket’s style is rooted in those worn by Americans stationed in Asia in the 50s. The original jackets were decorated in Kabuki style oriental images, but Michele chose to cover the emerald-hued silk in couched embroidery technique of flowers and circles—which represent waves from the sea—like the elaborate gold thread needlework from Japan’s Edo period.
Flourished with oversized bows, the soft candy pink silk organdy blouse references the bow-bedecked bodices of dresses worn by European royalty for their portrait sittings.
First seen moving softly down the runway, the silk skirt’s feminine spirit belies its peculiar print. Whimsically illustrated by Antony Lafreri, the Carta Marina, a sea map from 1572 shows maritime monsters frolicking in the waters off Sweden and Norway.
As a final touch, Michele connected the look to the House with the Web stripe placed on the ribbed cuffs of the bomber and printed onto the hem of the skirt.