We often speak of fashion as an art form created in fabric and draped upon the canvas of the human body. As beautiful and true as this view of fashion is, there does exist a form of art that uses nothing but thread to depict everything from the mythological to the historical. Tapestry weaving dates back millennia to the days of the ancient Greeks. The intricacy is awe-inducing, considering that tapestries portray scenes with the same amount of detail found in paintings. However their richness lays not only in their artistic content, but even in their individual threads — some of which were made of pure gold.
Traditionally tapestries were used as decorations; however many were so grandiose in size that to call them merely decoration would be an insult. Along with aesthetic values, they also possessed a practicality. Not only did they serve to insulate castle walls, but the stories that were woven into them could be passed on across time and continents. Although the craft of tapestry weaving is no longer a common practice, this fall designers such as Dolce & Gabbana and Balmain have infused the opulence of tapestry textiles into their runway looks.
This week’s Fashionista shows us how visually interesting and exotically beautiful this fall’s tapestry trend can be. When I saw this Fashionista I was immediately drawn to her very bold coat. The mix of patterns combined with the fur around the collar is very reminiscent of the Russian Matryoshka dolls and the famous Fabergé eggs. It was intriguing, eye-catching and it conveyed the story of a rich Eastern European culture.
Whether you want to choose something as bold as a coat, or simply go with a pair of shoes, there are plenty of sartorial options. To add some pop to your pants, try this alternative with a floral tapestry print from Paul by Paul Smith. For the perfect combination between modern edge and ancient art, opt for this motorcycle jacket from Free People. The luxury of gold threading is imitated wonderfully in this baroque sequin bodycon dress from Vero Moda. For the Fashionistas who love heights and florals, you can never go wrong with a pair of Jeffrey Campbell boots. Just as with any bold print, the trick to wearing a tapestry textile is to let that piece take center stage. When picking out a textile pattern, opt for the more opulent. Use the colors in the textile to help you choose the solid colors that you’ll be incorporating into the rest of your ensemble and accessorizing should in turn also be kept minimal.
This fall, weave the common thread between tapestry and fashion into the perfect work of art for your wardrobe.