How does Impressionism translated into fashion?

Impressionism originated in France between 1860 and 1900. The term impressionist was first used by hostile critics to describe a work which they considered “unfinished” by the Academic standards of the day.

The Impressionists rejected Academic traditions of representing the world. They were not interested in telling stories and painting morals. They left that to the Academic painters. Instead, they preferred to explore how paint could capture their sensory impressions. They wanted to evoke the sensations of light, color and movement. They applied color in looser, more distinct brush strokes rather than blending it into even shades and tones and they used lighter, brighter colors than the Academic painters. They drew themselves away from traditional perspective and modelling. It also led them outdoors to paint where they could more directly engage with nature.

The famous Impressionists include Monet, Degas, Morisot, Lautrec, Latour, Whistler, Cassatt, Renoir, Manet, and their influence on post-Impressionists painters such as Van Gogh, Saurat, Gauguin, Rousseau, and Cezanne.

Claude Monet (1840-1926)

Edgar Degas (1834-1917) — Degas’ renderings of the ballet are a compelling mixture of movement, delicacy, and strength, all at once.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Impressionists provided their new definition of painting by taking their easel outside the studio and creating works inspired by the broad rainbow of color rather than the particular details of the subject. One of the significant feature of Impressionism is the using over the soft watercolors and muted oil landscapes.

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)

How does Impressionism being translated into today’s fashion? Impressionism is all about light, color, and breaking free from rules. How does it affects the way we presented our vision?

Through out the years, fashion designers had been expressing their visions by how they receive the impressionist approach through their design. Alexander McQueen‘s collection translated animals / insects had been one of the most powerful work that I can think of. He was bold and yet subtle. Bold by the scale of the print, subtle by the color and images of the insects. He took inspiration from nature love and his collection leaves a deep impression to the customers as well as fashion critics. It is all about our subconscious mind towards the subtle and perceptual impressions of color.


J.Crew’s Impressionist dress in watercolor print and the vibrant color.

Anthropologie’s Impressionist’s dream dress

The Elie Saab design has alternating layers of light and lace-like fabric down the length of the dress in the style of Impressionism.

Maria Grachvogel’s print on dresses that shows vivid, impressionist, hand-painted images of giant moths, wolves and the phoenix rising from the ashes.

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