London College of Fashion is currently celebrating the Art of Dress in a project that reflects centuries of ‘dress’ evolution in all its various guises. The project has been shown in New York, Dubai and Shanghai. This week it opens in Florence as part of the IFFTI Annual Conference.
For centuries dresses have been crafted in many styles and silhouettes. Constructed, deconstructed, decorated, exaggerated, celebrated, desired, berated and adored. A dress or dresses hang in almost every woman’s wardrobe. The most identifiable and memorable dresses are that of occasion wear – cocktail dresses, ball gowns, red carpet wear and those that have foundations in ceremonies, religious, royal, political and national. Each nation has its variants, each designer a different mode, each maker a different technique. Everyone crafts dresses uniquely, as unique as the wearer they are intended for.
Ruby Vestry, BA (Hons) Costume for Performance. (Image: Orsolya Luca)
Throughout history it is the dress that has always taken the limelight. The dress is a designer’s delight as the body becomes a blank canvas, a playground to create a head-to-toe total look that in couture goes beyond anything we see in the day-to-day. Couture dresses are that of pure indulgence, fantasy, often exaggerated, excessive beauty with a price that reflects the magic of the design and the craft undertaken to execute it.
Art of Dress showcases work by undergraduate students from the School of Design and Technology and the School of Media and Communication.