A Short History of Lace

Season after season, different kinds of lace fabric made an appearance on catwalks, both in New York and Paris. White crochet lace is preferred for summer, red and black lace dresses are perfect for winter. But how long has lace been in fashion? And furthermore, why royals love it so much? Queen Elizabeth I was a big fan of lace in the 16th century. Lace collars, lace shawls and lace manufacturers found their home in northern Europe in the 17th century. Different kinds of lace fabric were used to decorate everything from dresses to doorknobs, a trend that luckily didn't reach the 21st century. It is said that Henrietta Maria arrived in England to begin her marriage to Charles I with a horde of luxurious materials. It is said that she often matched her lace collar to her husband's, a habit that fortunately died. If in the next Alexander McQueen show we would see two models strutting down the runway in armors and lace we would definitely find the look ridiculous, but Prince Charles Louis, Elector Palatine and his brother have fully mastered this uniform in 1637. Marie Antoinette was also a big fan of different kinds of lace fabric and she was really fashionable. After an explosion in popularity in the 1700's, lace has fallen from fashion in the eyes of the population of the 1800's, thanks to Marie Antoinette. Queen Victoria has seriously demonstrated her devotion to lace in 1897. Her veil and skirt were always matched in different kinds of lace fabric. I'm sure the phrase "you can never wear enough lace" applies only to the royal family. In the chic days of 1920, the below the knee length relieved women's figures, often using different kinds of lace fabric. Lace and royal weddings go hand in hand. This ghostly figure is Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon (the late Queen Mother) at her wedding with the Duke of York in 1923. Lily Allen Cooper lent the veil for her wedding. "I stole grandma's curtains and I'm not giving them back", says this dancer from the Moulin Rouge in Paris, 1926. A young Mexican woman poses in a black lace outfit in 1928. I have a feeling that Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are very familiar with this picture. Women who produce lace on Burano island, Italy, 1954. Dolce & Gabbana are known for the inclusion of such images in their shows to highlight the incredible craftsmanship needed to produce different kinds of lace fabric. Here's Grace Kelly in her elegant wedding lace dress in 1956. Queen Elizabeth I arriving at a party in 1959 wearing a lemon colored lace dress. This 1964 Biba lace costume proves that different kinds of lace fabric can work for minimalist silhouettes. Here is Madonna trying to look good in the cheap, stretched, laced fashion of 1985. However, the trend was adopted by over 94% of the teenage population of the time. Diana, Princess of Wales, at a dinner in Washington in 1985. The "everyday" wedding dress is a very difficult look to pull off, but royals always have their way. The 2009 fall Prada collection was entirely dedicated to different kinds of lace fabric. The idea was that lace should be present in a woman's life from birth to death. The collection resurrected lace in high fashion circles, a phenomenon that is still waiting to go out of style. These are probably the world's most popular sleeves. Duchess Catherine's wedding dress inspired millions of dresses, as all women wanted to get married in lace, like a true princess. English embroidery was also the theme of the Louis Vuitton spring 2012 collection in Paris. It's not exactly lace but I'm sure it will be very popular in the upcoming season.

Share this post


Leave a comment

Note, comments must be approved before they are published