Fashion houses and their use of Renaissance style as inspiration


In December 2012, Chanel, one of the most iconic French fashion houses, reached back to the Sixteenth Century as a basis for their 2013 Pre-Fall collection. You can see the entire show here on You Tube here. What set this collection apart from other Renaissance- inspired designs was the decision to base many of the designs not only on women’s fashions of the century, but men’s fashions as well.

Several fashion lines have used fashion elements that were worn by women of the 1500s, including slashed sleeves and squared collars, but Chanel decided to add a unisex look by recreating the dublets and ballon style trousers men wore throughout the 16th Century.

The show took place in Linlithgow Palace, birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, who for a short year was queen of both France and Scotland. A daughter of the powerful Guise clan and the Stuart dynasty, Mary embodied the “Ye Ald Alliance” between the French and Scots that was designed to check English power in Great Britain.

Karl Lagerfeld led the design team for the Pre-Fall 2012-2013 season, and he used a personal connection with Mary Stuart as the inspiration for the line. The first French poem that a six year old Lagerfeld learned was about Mary, and he decided to combine what he called “barbarian romance” to fuse Scottish tartans and kilts with the legendary design aesthetic of Chanel.

YouTube link to the show: