Lace in Fashion
Lace: the word alone evokes the image of an ethereal fabric, loaded with frilly and feminine connotations. Though lace appears everywhere from the doilies on a grandmother’s armchair to edgings on seductive lingerie, we don’t often stop to consider its history. Lace in Fashion at the Fashion Museum in Bath, traces the popularity of this gossamer textile from its origins as a painstaking handcraft to a modern, mechanized fabric seen all over the runways. As a OEM clothes manufacturer, we will use many lace to do the different kinds of the clothes, but lace is a long history A large portion of our mission is to spread awareness of the breadth of lace history, and to keeping the tradition alive. Lace in Fashion serves as a valuable introduction to the importance of lace in fashion history, both through the exhibition itself and the various lacemaking courses offered in tandem by the museum.
Beginning in the late 15th century, lace was laboriously handmade and an indicator of social status, available only to the wealthiest elites. After centuries of fanatical popularity, the French Revolution literally took the heads of many who adorned their throats with lace, and its production dwindled. Further spelling the decline of handmade lace was the onset of the industrial revolution, out of which came the first lace machines in the early 19th century. Today, jacquard machine lace is prized for its exquisite detail, used mainly by couture houses. Last year, French fashion house Chanel actually purchased one of their lace suppliers, Sophie Hallette, a company that still uses the kind of early Leavers machines that are responsible for some of the ultra-fine lace on display in this exhibition.
Nearly two centuries after the demise of the hand-lacemaking industry, the high-end machine lace industry has fallen on hard times as well. The New York Times recently covered the struggling Leavers lace industry in Calais, France, where sophisticated machine laces are unable to compete with cheaper production overseas. Far-right politician Marine Le Pen capitalized on the angst of the Calais lace workers with her anti-globalization rhetoric during her campaign this year, but nationalist sentiments were not strong enough to win her the election. Today, swaths of cheaper chemical and knit laces are made in factories for big lingerie brands like Victoria’s Secret where fifteen technicians can be had for the same wages as one French artisan.
Though it cycles in and out of the forefront of fashion, lace never disappears from the lingerie and bridal industries, where it is a staple. However, Lace in Fashion does not focus on lace in these two contexts, instead it includes more fashion-forward pieces from various decades, revealing how lace has changed over time. Included in the range of pieces on display are everything from a silver 17th-century gown trimmed with a rare type of lace made from silk threads wrapped in parchment, to a contemporary dress designed by Christopher Kane, which is covered in lace appliqués adhered to organza with black polyurethane tape. Thanks to a grant from the British Arts Council, the museum was able to fund a two-year research project to document their extensive collection of lace, and train curatorial staff in lace identification and history. This exhibition is the pinnacle of their research project, meant to showcase exemplary pieces of the lace collection and educate viewers about lace history.
How to use lace on the Modern Daily wear?
- The bone lace is mainly made up of small and medium flower patterns, and the silhouette of the garment is also loose. Combined with the new design method, the fresh and sweet has a better interpretation.
- Water-soluble lace combines with sporty casual style to create a series of lazy but gorgeous fashion dresses.
- The light and transparent lace is matched with the knitted fabric, which adds a glamorous color to the T-shirt.
- The clear lace fabric always shows the beautiful figure of women, combined with the contrast and collage techniques, making the lace become casual.
- The lace inserts are diversified and the position is unconstrained. The clever design diversifies the style of women’s clothing.
6. The pattern of the lace has become more full and three-dimensional, and the layers of the shirt have been made.
As the exhibition moves along to the 20th century cases “Every day” and “Evening wear,” nearly all of the lace has been made by machine. Shifting the focus from production to silhouette, these garments show how lace can be adapted to suit both casual day dresses and flashy evening wear. The ornamental textile is popular enough to have spawned copycat techniques as well, as illustrated in the “Imitations” case. Three midcentury dresses are embellished with embroidery, flocking, and appliqué techniques to mimic the effect of lace. With the advent of technology today, high-tech methods such as laser-cutting and 3D printing can also be used to produce designs with the negative space unique to lace.
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