You may have done a double-take upon viewing our latest newsletter, but your eyes aren’t deceiving you — this month we’re welcoming one of my very favorite fashion trends to ModCloth: trompe l’oeil.
Literally ‘to deceive the eye’ in French, trompe l’oeil has evolved and reappeared in the fashion world over and over again throughout the years, and it’s easy to understand why. To me, trompe l’oeil is one of the most unique trends out there, all at once fun, clever, and incredibly unique.
While the trend may seem super current, trompe l’oeil’s origins can actually be traced back to the Baroque period in the art world, though there’s even evidence that the technique was used by ancient civilizations, such as Pompeii. The phrase originated as a way to illustrate the artistic technique of using realistic painted images to create an optical illusion in 3D. Ever since it took the art world by storm in the 17th century, trompe l’oeil has fascinated art-admirers the world over.
But, it wasn’t until the 1930s that trompe l’oeil really made waves with the fashion set. That’s when Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli hit the scene, collaborating with artists by the likes of Salvador Dali and Alberto Giacometti. Can you imagine how exciting it must have been, concepting a fashion line with Surrealist artists? While Schiaparelli’s fashion house closed in the 50s, the trompe l’oeil torch was quickly picked up by House of Hermès, which produced an especially inspiring line of trompe l’oeil clothing in 1952, some examples of which you can check out in the mood board, above.
From the 17th century, to the Surrealist movement of the 30s, to House of Hermes in the 50s, and another resurgence in the 70s, trompe l’oeil has had an exciting journey, and I’m so excited to be bringing this timeless trend to you this month. Check out a couple of my favorite trompe l’oeil styles below, and be sure to check out our full selection of statement styles!
Trompe l’oeil is certainly a trend with staying power, where do you think this surrealist style will pop up next?