The classical stone fluting gracing the Doric columns of Greek temples is a mark of architectural harmony and flow, designed by the architects of ancient Greece to form a sense of unity and connect the temple’s different elements. This intricate art of pleating was first adapted in the fashion world via two renowned houses: Fortuny, with its famous 1907 Delphos gown; and Lognon, the artisans behind Hermès’ famous silk squares. Graceful pleats combined with statuesque Grecian silhouettes and streaming fabrics became an evening couture classic, emerging on gowns from Valentino to Grimaldi.
In response to the heavy, structured styles of the Baroque era before it, the Rococo period of early 18th-century France emphasized light colour palettes, asymmetry, frills, and ornate embellishments. Rococo fashions brought forth pastel fabrics and floral motifs, courtesy of Louis XV’s mistress Madame de Pompadour, a gardener and botanist who was known for her love of flowers. Today, Rococo’s feminine, whimsical details are a mainstay of spring runways, in fanciful ballgowns blooming with blushing-rose hues, fluttering petals, and exquisitely sculpted three-dimensional blossoms.
Popular in ancient Rome around the 15th century, tessellation — the tiling of a surface using geometric shapes with no overlaps or gaps — is an influential pattern that ranges in scope from the abstract to the applied. Used to define mathematical concepts, natural patterns such as the hexagonal cells of a honeycomb, and to represent divine ratios in religious art, tessellation motifs are common in architecture, fashion, and decor to this day. In haute couture, the pattern builds upon the human connection to nature, reproduced in skilful textile techniques such as pleating, quilting, beading, and embroidery.
English Text by Kate Missine Translated by Xiaotian Wong Produced by Many Ngom