A Modern Renaissance of Style

J Mendel

Laser-cut at J. Mendel captured right on the runway. Photo courtesy of Bryanboy (Taken with Instagram)

The rebirth of extravagant textures and intricate layers are breathing new light to the fashion industry. A Modern Renaissance, mainstream couture is experiencing a life of color in opulent textiles. The forward-thinking atmosphere of the early Renaissance revolutionized fashion while setting the caliber for the years to come. With a strong attention to detail, new technologies continue to break the boundaries of fashion today.

Progress in science and mathematics prompted trends of the 15th century. Around this period of enlightenment, the province of fashion evolved with the inception of lace. Replacing embroidery, lace transformed dresses, evoking a plethora of different styles. Laser cut, a modern cross between cutwork lace and a screen-printing aesthetic delivers highly intricate patterns with incredible levels of precision.

Looking to the future, Alexander Wang presented this very new-age aesthetic in a rather innovative manner. With strategically placed geometric shapes, Wang amped up a basic white dress with dimension through laser cut details in his Spring 2013 collection.  Roberto Cavalli’s SS13 collection highlighted sleek laser cut pants while Balmain synthesized structure through laser precision, creating cool cutout blazers. Accentuating the wearer’s features, laser cut lends a modern upgrade to the look of lace.

 Victoria Beckham’s SS13 collection emphasized hexagonal laser cut patterns on shoulder bags worn as oversized clutches. Tory Burch also used laser cut patterns to compliment her timeless collection of spring tote bags and clutches. Italian shoe designer, Sergio Rossi, featured a lux laser cut style on ankle boots, adorning the clean-cut cage look detail with Swarovski crystals. European sophistication met modern glamour with Brian Atwood’s electric orange gladiator laser-cut open toe boot.

The runway isn’t the only place where laser cut looms.  A digital lifestyle at the home is not complete without laser cut curtains designed by Élitis. German designers Nadine Fliegen and Andrea Steckner of min-jon are extending the process to unusual surfaces, creating laser cut wooden lampshades. Laser cut is paving the way for a myriad of design in 2013.

More often than not, people are caught spending massive amounts of their time plugged into social media outlets like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Perhaps elements of the Digital Age are what influenced designers to tell visual stories with their garments. Through the process of digital printing, designers manipulate real photos to create a collage effect, color blocking elements that can even mirror the look of fabric. Graphic software is setting the stage for the production of infinite patterns.

Giving classic menswear a modern makeover, digital printing reveals an impeccable uniqueness that plays upon individualism and the manifesto to make a bold statement. By infusing abstract art and fine tailoring, looks from the Alexander McQueen SS13 collection provide new definition to menswear, mixing daring digital graphics in intrepid colors. Designers like Givenchy, Erdem, Helmut Lang, Mary Katantzou and Peter Pilotto are also experimenting with the abstract trend on both dresses and trousers.

Cold weather may be a good reason to layer up, but this season, draping extravagant fabrics extends far beyond basic functionality. Vibrant patterns dripped in jewels and layered with lavish fabrics communicate a lux multi-texture factor, providing interest and dimension to outerwear. BCBG Max Azria took layering to the next level with a Fall 2013 collection centered around the pairing of extravagant elements with unconventional pieces. An oversized wool tunic sweater layered by a fur vest, intricate print skirt and leather pants work together, forming an unlikely but dynamic combination. Extraordinarily rich materials are becoming more relevant than ever as designers embrace beautiful fabrics, nodding a sense of nobility to what once was a woman’s basic outerwear wardrobe.

Fashion in the Renaissance period mirrored this newly advancing culture. Clothing stood as trademark to the wealth of the owner. Luxury fashion retailers are beginning to acknowledge and identify with their consumers by creating visually stimulating pieces using new techniques that reflect the advancement of mainstream couture in the Digital Age. In the Modern Renaissance, style and extravagance stand not an indication of one’s stature and wealth in society, but rather one’s ability to express style in a new light, illuminating a masterpiece of personal tapestry.  

Alexander Wang Model

Alexander Wang SS2013
Strategically placed geometric shapes amp up a white dress at the Spring/Summer 2013 Alexander Wang collection. Photo courtesy of Pamela Berkovic


Brian Atwood Electra Shoe

Brian Atwood
Brian Atwood infuses European elegance and Modern Hollywood Glamor with an electric orange gladiator laser cut open toe boot. Photo Credit, Brian Atwood Electra  


Min-jon laser cut wood lampshade

Laser cut extends to home design with an oak lampshade crafted by German designers, Nadine Fliegen and Andrea Steckner. Photo Credit, min-jon lampshade made of real wood (oak)


Alexander McQueen Menswear Jacket

Alexander McQueen
The Alexander McQueen line mixes fine tailoring and abstract art to provide a modern twist to menswear.  Photo Credit, Alexander McQueen jacket  


BCBG runway


Layering lavish fabrics with modern materials at the BCBG Max Azria Fall 2013 show hint a sense of nobility. Photo courtesy of Vail Fucci


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