Lacemaking originated in the 15th century, and since then, it’s been is one of fashion’s favorite embellishments almost non-stop. From royal weddings to the catwalks of Paris, lace functions sometimes as a fancy trim and others plays the star of a look. Now, a new exhibit at the RISD Museum, Luminous Lace, explores its origins, history, and grandeur. The focus is on laces made with gold, silver, and other metallics that increase both their complexity and value.
On display until the end of July are pieces by Yves Saint Laurent and Junya Wantanabe, House of Worth gowns, antique oil painting portraits, and needle-and-bobbin lace samples from centuries past. Throughout the historical spectrum, it’s obvious that lace has always indicated luxury and wealth – and bestowed a certain amount of power upon the wearer. No wonder some of the world’s most exquisite fashion houses still insist on making it the old-fashioned way today.