We love lace at Peruvian Connection. Nowadays, it evokes a slower, more romantic time, but when Queen Elizabeth I initially fell in love with lace, wearing it became a sign of great wealth and power for both men and women. Lace had an enormous resurgence in popularity during Victorian times with the advent of machine-made lace, remaining popular until the 1930’s. In the last few years lace has become a staple of many runway collections and remains an incredibly strong trend, from the most innocent and romantic dresses to the sexiest underpinnings. Even the smallest touch makes the simplest garment more feminine and beautiful.
We appreciate the skill and craftsmanship that went into handmade laces: it took literally hundreds of hours to create fabrics and edgings that were truly luxurious, decadent and purely decorative. While net and gauze were produced in pre-Columbian Peru, what
we now call lace probably originated in Italy from hand-embroidery techniques, especially cutwork, eventually evolving into a fabric created by working onto a foundation of threads couched onto paper, called Punto de Aria (literally… stitches in the air) in Italy.
We are particularly fond of knitted lace because of its lightness and drape. Knitted lace was thought to have originated in Spain, with knitting exchanged by Arab traders. The Spanish method was later adopted in the Shetland Isles, where incredibly fine lace shawls were made relatively recently, starting in the 19th century. The first knitted lace shawls were crafted over 300 years ago in the Orenburg region of Russia. Haapsalu in Estonia began its tradition of knitted lace shawls about 100 years later. Each region has its
own patterns and techniques that identify its providence.
Crochet lace was thought to have begun at about the same time and originated from Tambour work.
Today we work collaboratively with highly skilled craftspeople to create unique ways to reinterpret vintage laces into beautiful and wearable art pieces. It can start with a tiny floral shape in an Irish crochet panel or a gorgeous vintage lace dress, but the same techniques are used to create each garment stitch by stitch, as crochet can only be made by hand.
We adore these old laces especially because of their rich history. Even the smallest lengths that have been saved and carefully wrapped around browned paper, or panels stored in tissue paper bundles have a unique character. The subtlety of the shades of white, yellow and cream seems to imbue them with quiet beauty. These fragments seem more romantic because of their fragility, and the discovery of an old box of lace was our favorite inspiration for this season.
By looking back at the historical references for techniques and pattern inspiration and then blending these with trend appropriate, yet classical silhouettes in beautiful luxurious yarns, we hope to continue the tradition of creating future heirlooms.
Highlights of Peruvian Connection’s Lace Collection for Spring 2013: