In her designer collection, ‘La Rinascita’, Siobhan Walsh has reinvented Renaissance fashion for the modern era. The collection takes inspiration from nearly every sphere of Renaissance art. Reminiscent of the Sans Marco Piazza in Venice, her use of jet-black feathers to open and close the collections centrepiece (pictured) recalls, in perfect execution, the majesty of Renaissance architecture. ‘La Rinascita’s’ rich colour pallet and use of embroidered wool finds its muse in the exquisite tapestries that adorned the halls of the periods well-to-do, evoking irrepressible fantasies of courtiered balls in the palaces of the Medici.
And yet, the most profound influence of the Renaissance on Walsh’s work can be found in her dichotomous departure from the period. ‘La Rinascita’ ostentatiously refuses to pay any homage to the heavy and unshapely fashion of the day. Rather, it takes its impetus from the celebration of the human form, the prevailing philosophy and driving force behind the Renaissance. With its expertly tailored lines, her garments gently flow along the curvature of the body, producing a classic silhouette that celebrates the female form.
What one can see in Walsh’s work is possibly the first steps on a new development in contemporary fashion, which could be defined as ‘neo-Renaissance’. A new form of design that untethers itself from a history of fashion, and instead takes its inspiration from a history of ideas, art and philosophy.
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