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Historical Influences in Fashion | The Garrick Coat

One of the great excitements with each fashion cycle is deciphering the collections and picking out of the mix of historical details that most influenced designers. Not that fashion designers are fashion historians, they are not; but, as the rule of fashion engagement dictates, we reference many things instinctively, often without knowing where the form originated from.

Alexander McQueen - Fall 2012-Winter 2013

Fashion plate, La Belle Assemblée, 1830s

Manish Arora - Fall 2012-Winter 2013

Gareth Pugh - Fall 2012-Winter 2013

Gallery detail from "Madeleine Vionnet" Exhibition, Paris (2009)

The Fall 2012 designer collections contained their fair share of historical nods – shapes favoring yesteryear; even a few centuries past – and proportions that are redefining today’s fashion direction.

The Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, and his son Charles (later to be known as Charles the Bold), being paid homage by the author of the Chronicles of Hainault. Rogier Van der Weyden's only surviving miniature (1447-8)

Andrew Gn - Fall 2012-Winter 2013

Fashion plate, Le Journal des Dames et des Modes (1830)

Todd Lynn - Fall 2012-Winter 2013

So, what themes dominated the fashion runways for Fall 2012? Here’s a bit of fashion trivia….. look no further than the Garrick coat. This iconic coachman’s coat is often referred to as the ancestor of the trench coat, being one of the best thought-out garments ever designed. It was, after all, used to protect from the elements and had so much swagger that it became synonymous with its biggest fan, the English actor David Garrick.

Charles François Mallet, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1809)

John Galliano - Fall 2012-Winter 2013

Viktor & Rolf - Fall 2012-Winter 2013

Dolce e Gabanna - Fall 2012-Winter 2013

As it turns out, more than a few fur designs parallel this particular coat’s layered shoulder… some even encase the upper shoulders as one unit. Of course, we’re not looking at ‘copy-cat’ versions of past garments, but the influence of  little historical details that beautifully revamp new creations. We all know too well that fashion feeds on novelty; who said that the old stuff can’t be edgy again?

Givenchy - Fall 2012-Winter 2013

Etro - Fall 2012-Winter 2013

Lie Sang Bong - Fall 2012-Winter 2013

Mugler - Fall 2012-Winter 2013

Watch for more on historical references in the Fall 2012 collections………

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