Arts & Crafts Design: inspired by nature

With our current trend for both hand-made artisan goods
and floral-inspired graphic patterns
{which are both quite fabulously exciting developments},
let's have a look back at another time,
when there was a similar world-wide desire for nature-based design.
It was the Arts and Crafts Movement,
which originated in England in the 1860s,
heavily influenced fashion, architecture & interior design,
and reached a peak around the turn of the century.
An advert for the Lace Exhibition in Paris in 1904
illustrates the enchantment with delicate motifs,
curvy organic lines,
and a certain romanticisim for the exquisite.
A Jacques Doucet gown of gold lace,
from 1900,
is a riot of floral patterning.
Czech Actress Anna Sedlackova in 1912
sporting a magnificent feathered hat.
Ah, feathers - they're back in fashion too,
aren't they?
These fabulous houses,
all by the architect Harold Desbrowe-Annear,
were built in the early 1900s in Melbourne.
This beautiful dresser was one of the first
examples of built-in joinery.
Hard to believe that we take this for granted today!
The popular colours of this movement were
those found in nature,
but especially ones with a golden or orange tone.
This is a portrait of Elizabeth Drexel,
an American author & Manhattan socialite,
painted in 1905 by Boldini.
Her bodice is adorned with lace flowers,
and the dress "grows" from the painting,
just like nature.
Arts & Crafts colours
are used masterfully in a contemporary
arrangement by Sarah Winward,
which has the same romantic feel.
Swirling lines, echoing those found in flowers,
were incorporated into fashionable clothes,
like this French gown by Callot Soeurs {1910}.
 A modern table setting.
Flowers by Sarah Winward.
Do you see a pattern emerging here?
Marc Jacobs ruffled silk dress, 2011 collection.
Haute Hippie dress, 2011 collection.
Amazing how much the appeal of these designs
still resonate today, isn't it? While we wouldn't actually wear this outfit today, it isn't hard to still see the beauty in it.
I guess it is because true beauty
never goes out of style.
Images: all houses & interiors designed 
by Harold Desbrowe-Annear, open today. Details here.
All flowers: Sarah Winward.
Contemporary fashion: lyst.
Historical fashion images: wikimedia commons