You look familiar…Have we met?

October 30, 2014 · Collections ·

This is my favorite time of year….Fashion Show Time!  I love seeing all of the clothes walking down the runway, many with slight nods to decades past, and some full of entirely new and innovative ideas.  Clothing tells us so much about ourselves and others….and I love it.

Quilted Petticoats.  Left to Right: 1987.211.1; 1967.36.3; 1959.54.2.  CHS Collection.

Quilted Petticoats. Left to Right: 1987.211.1; 1967.36.3; 1959.54.2. CHS Collection.

If you are looking for something fabulous to incorporate into your wardrobe for the fall, look no further than….the 18th century?  That’s right folks, quilted petticoats.  They are totally back and they are totally fabulous.  In his Fall 2014 Ready-to-Wear fashion show, Christian Dior gave a major nod to the 18th century when he showed this amazing, asymmetrical skirt on the runway.  (To see the entire runway collection, check out Style.com)

Asymmetrical quilted skirt.  Christian Dior Fall 2014 Ready to Wear fashion show.  Image from Style.com.

Asymmetrical quilted skirt. Christian Dior Fall 2014 Ready to Wear fashion show. Image from Style.com.

The moment I saw this I thought, wait a minutes…you look familiar…have we met?  The very next day I walked onto the 3rd floor to see our very own, 1758 quilted petticoat staring back at me.  Sarah Halsey was far a head of her time!

Quilted Petticoat.  1758. Gift of the Lyman Allyn Museum. 1959.54.2.

Quilted Petticoat. 1758. Gift of the Lyman Allyn Museum. 1959.54.2.

Although the skirt from Dior is quite simple, opting for a straight-line quilting design, Sarah incorporated everything from lions and tigers, to mermaids in her handiwork.

Quilted Petticoat Lion detail

Quilted Petticoat Lion detail

If Dior’s asymmetrical style isn’t really your thing, you can always go all out and grab a skirt designed by a designer known for his feminine creations and ability to make every woman look like a lady.  The late, great, Oscar de la Renta.  I’m not one to usually mourn famous people whom I have never met, but when I heard about Oscar de la Renta’s passing this month, it made me sad to know that the fashion world would never be quite the same….he has certainly left quite a legacy.

Quilted silk skirt by Oscar de la Renta.  theoutnet.com.

Quilted silk skirt by Oscar de la Renta. theoutnet.com.

Oscar de la Renta even went as far as using 18th century inspired printed silk for his quilted creation.  Harkening back even further to the petticoats iterations in the 18th century.  (for more information on the skirt visit theoutnet.com)  And here is yet another of our fabulous examples.

Quilted Petticoat. 1740-1780. Gift of Frances F. Armstrong in memory of Eleanor Wells Farnsworth and Francis P. Farnsworth. 1987.211.1.

Quilted Petticoat. 1740-1780. Gift of Frances F. Armstrong in memory of Eleanor Wells Farnsworth and Francis P. Farnsworth. 1987.211.1.

The delicate work of these petticoats is a great inspiration for fashion designers today.  The amazing craftsmanship of these women sewing at home to create these quilted petticoats for themselves can never be duplicated by machines, but the updated designs of this years fall line certainly remind us to look, not only to our future, but also to our past.  You never know who, or what, you might meet, that you never realized you already knew.