Trends: ‘trompe l’oeil’

There is a fabulously deceptive reoccuring fashion trend I love. It’s called ‘trompe l’oeil’ which is French for ‘deceive the eye’. It’s a technique used by designers, both vintage and modern, to create optical illusions in fashion.

Elsa Schiaparelli used trompe l’oeil in her knitwear creations in the 1920-30s and Hermes screen printed details on dresses in the 1950s.

I noticed Bea wearing a sweater very similar to Schiaparelli’s in an early Season 3 episode of The House of Eliott.


1920s Schiaparelli sweater; [2] 1950s Hermes dress

Another designer who’s used this style is Roberta di Camerino. First during the 1960s and again in 2011-12. How fabulous does Aurora Sansone look in that dress?!


House of Eliott screencap by me

Are you a Quentin Tarantino fan? If so, you’ve probably seen the movie ‘Kill Bill’ and you might have noticed the 2001 Moschino coat Daryl Hannah wore?


[4] Camerino AW 2011-12, [5] Aurora Sansone

I think trompe l’oeil patterns create such striking illusions and new dimensions to knits and prints. When you see a coat or suit, look again. It may very well be a dress! I have to admit the first time I saw Aurora Sansone in the Roberta di Camerino dress I had to look twice.


[6] Kill Bill Moschino coat.


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