Sienna Vittoria, Oct. 27th, 2012
Though the revival of Baroque is already a season’s past, it is still making its way into editorial endeavors, the realm of retail, and the closets of consumers. As an art student and enthusiast, this trend is one that truly strikes a chord of appreciation in me.
This art movement, in the 17th and 18th centuries, was one of the aftermaths of the Protestant Reformation. Before the time of media and advertisements, art was of course the form of propaganda used to promote a cause. As an attempt to regain followers who had been swayed by the provocative thoughts of Luther, the Catholic Church encouraged a revival of religiously thematic artwork.
If you aren’t familiar with the Baroque movement, think cherubs, dramatic movement, extravagant luxuries, rich colours, and a glorified upper class. Painters like Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Rubens romanticized the Catholic faith in paintings with emotional depth, dramatic lighting, and luxurious embellishment.
Designers have recently looked to the past, gaining inspiration for their collections from Baroque art. Brocade prints, rich velvets, and heavy jewels have been gracing the runway for the past two seasons. Now how can you wear with trend on the streets of reality, without being mistaken for the lead in a theatrical production?
Dominico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana took the ready-to-wear lead with this trend last season, sending forth cherub printed textiles, lace frocks, gold brocade and blossoming tapestry prints. Balmain offered their characteristically edgy take on the trend with pearl-embellished cropped jackets, low-slung velvet pants, and leather detailing. Moschino’s thick gold jewels and gold-and-black brocade printed dresses contributed a feminine take on the trend.
Now, where can you purchase garments in this style in our sweet little Ottawa? Commercial retailers such as Urban Outfitters (Rideau Street, right on the outskirts of The Market) are selling articles of clothing reminiscent of the Baroque movement. Brocade velvet fabrics, rich colours like burgundy, gold and black, and embellishments galore – this trend can be done as decked out or as simplified as you fancy.
Visit good ol’ Value Village and Rag Time for ornate costume jewelry, tapestry printed shoes and handbags, religious symbols like crosses, florals and brocade, and garments in rich fabrics you can play up. Have fun!
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Sienna Vittoria Lee-Coughlin