Surrealism was a movement in Europe between the 2 World Wars in literature and visual arts but up to today, still is a great inspiration in the world of fashion and jewelry.
Artists such René Magritte, Yves Tanguy, Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró painted extremely realistic objects in bizarre and paradoxical contexts, uniting the everyday world to the world of dreams and fantasy.
Elsa Schiaparelli is the best example of Surrealism in Haute Couture. Working with traditional tailoring, she added subversive and surprising details using embroidery or prints to create surrealistic images such as the back of an evening coat with 2 persons’ profiles that form a vase which is filled with roses, or the hat in the shape of a shoe, inspired by a painting from Dali.
Christian Dior led us into the dreamworld of Surrealism at Paris’ 2018 Haute Couture week, with birdcage-like corsets and giant sculptures of noses and ears hanging over the catwalk. But long before this latest Dior’s collection, many other designers have already shown entire collections based on Surrealism.
In 2000, Hussein Chalayan had in his show a coffee-table-skirt inspired by Dali and Schiaparelli. Thierry Kugler presented fabulous dresses that reminded the insects so cherished by Surrealism, one of them with a set of huge wings made of feathers and embroidery on the back of the dress that looked as if the model were ready to fly away!
Lanvin Céline, Kenzo, Diane von Fürstenberg, Spanish Agatha Ruiz de la Prada among others, have all drawn inspiration from the Surrealism movement.
In jewelry, we also find endless pieces inspired by Surrealism, like the famous red-lips brooches, the melting watch or the crying eye, all inspired by Dali’s work and that were used over and over again by several designers over the years.
Stephen Webster and Delfina Delettrez have wonderful collections based on Surrealism too.
With the comeback of brooches, now is the perfect time to add some playfulness and style to your outfits by pinning everywhere brooches with parts of the human body such as hands, ears, eyes, noses, or big insects, lobsters, bird-cages…
Just use your imagination and have fun!