It’s taken me quite a while to appreciate lace. It’s so floaty and light and dainty – pretty much the exact opposite of me. Fortunately, thanks for artists like Penny Nickels and Pierre Fouche, I’m starting to dig it.
So it was with some curiosity that I opened the pages of Lace, the Poetry of Fashion by Bella Veksler and dived in.
After a brief introduction of the long-term history of lace (did you know it was referenced in Greek mythology?) the book then focuses its chapters on specific lace forms including Venetian, Chantilly and Irish Lace. It’s quite fascinating to examine the different forms of lace and realise the local context and influence over this traditional craft.
Packed with reference pictures from throughout the 20th century and before, there is a wealth of inspiration and learning to be taken from this book. The combination of illustrations, designs and items made with lace give you a good sense of the detail in these pieces, and the pictures are big, clear and well chosen. It also reminds you how stylish some of the fashions of the early 20th century were, and how lace is integral in the grace and elegance of many familiar fashion styles.
If, like me, you don’t know much about lace, this book is a fantastic resource to get you started. It’s not a practical book, it’s a volume filled with inspiration, and it provides a breadth of ideas and concepts for you to take forward in your own practice. It’s definitely opened my eyes.