“Who would believe that so small a space could contain the images of all the universe?”
Reveal and conceal, the eye has both properties and abilities. As a symbolic motif, when used in fashion the eye is quite a striking and attractive motif. Maison Margiela, what a spectacular visionary. This look (below) from Spring 2014 Couture has playful irony. The face is covered, yet the eye area is embellished to celebrate this feature, as if to create acute focus on something we take for granted. The arm warmers (?) are outrageous, yet they make me wonder about what kind of visual concept is being communicated other than “totally bizarre”.
The eye has a strong symbolic history. When represented visually in art throughout history, deeper meaning is being communicated with the audience.
- Queen Elizabeth I was painted in a dress of eyes and ears decoration to show her court she was all seeing and all hearing.
- Lockets were carried with the painted eye of a lover in order to gaze at each other.
- Loss of an eye often translates to trading one type of sight, for another spiritual ‘inner sight’.
- This inner sight also references what we see beyond our vision. Dreams, wisdom, foresight and hindsight.
Maison Margiela here
Kenzo eye bag here
Lovers eye locket here
Queen Elizabeth I, Rainbow Portrait here