Schiaparelli & Prada IMPOSSIBLE CONVERSATIONS the new exhibition just opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has got me reminiscing about my love of the art of Trompe l'oeil
As soon as I think about the designs of Schiaparelli I think of the art of illusion and that everything is not quite as it seems. These were common thought provoking ideas linked to the Surrealist movement of her day. Similarly as serious as Prada can be the introduction of Trompe l'oeil pieces or Collections every so often gives the brand its humour and uniqueness. Miuccia Prada obviously appreciates that in life it's fun to look good and good to have fun.
Fashion is getting better at laughing at itself, it's been a hard place to get to, it can still be perceived as an industry linked too much to that scary word 'emotion' but thankfully with the incredible success and importantly profits of brands such as Burberry, Mulberry, and the LVMH group it now seems more comfortable to laugh about our idiosyncrasies.
For my Final Graduate Collection I focused on trompe l'oeil prints of my family and friends cherished denim pieces. I wanted to mix the best of the past with the future by printing images of well loved jean jackets and worn jeans onto a white backdrop of high tech modern fabrics.
The scope of print design has moved on incredibly since I graduated. I remember having to troupe down to the photocopy shop in Soho with bags full of clothes and beg and bribe the guys there to let me stay for most of the day photocopying each piece in sections onto iron on T-shirt print paper.
Nowadays digital print has become cheaper and more accessible for young designers to try out, with designers such as Mary Katrantzou flying the flag for the new generation of fashionable optical illusionists.