Stylistic Illusion: The Reemergence Of Trompe L'oeil In Fashion

Designer items that present deceivingly cool visual tricks.

Fashion can create magic out of fabric. Some designers even have the skills to develop surprising articles of clothing and accessories that are unexpectedly wearable. Trompe l’oeil is a term in the field of art referring to a visual illusion. Moreover, the concept of a trompe l’oeil deceives the eye through the perception of a painted detail as a three-dimensional object.

Creating trompe l’oeil in art and architecture is a feat that is commonly seen. But these designers went above and beyond their design codes to apply the concept to fashion. Certainly, these brands and fashion designers elevated the field to a whole new level—exploring the boundaries of craftsmanship and dressmaking. 

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Schiaparelli Signature Sweater

From the brand that started the trompe l’oeil trend, this sweater is a recreation of what Elsa Schiaparelli made in 1927. The classic viscose sweater has an asymmetric neckline that dips on one side, outlined by a trompe l’oeil of a tied-neck scarf. 

Schiaparelli Signature Trompe l'oeil Sweater
Schiaparelli Signature Trompe l’oeil Sweater/ Photo via Schiaparelli website

JW Anderson Pigeon Bag

Recently seen worn by Carrie Bradshaw in an episode of And Just Like That, this JW Anderson Pigeon bag made noise on the internet. At first glance, the bag looks like a garden ornament. Many would be surprised if you pulled out your cardholder from it. Furthermore, the structure and the colors realistically create the illusion. 

JW Anderson Pigeon Clutch
JW Anderson Pigeon Clutch/ Photo JW Anderson website

Jean Paul Gaultier Body Morph

A design created in collaboration with Y Project, the Jean Paul Gaultier Body Morph line is a retro take on the trompe l’oeil trend. Also, the brand used different contrasting colors to create a thermal body print effect on the clothes. Emphasizing the curves and shape of the body, the body morph line embodies sensuality through art.

Body morph denim jacket
Body morph denim jacket/ Photo via Jean Paul Gaultier website

JW Anderson Cap Bag

Another bag from JW Anderson, the Cap Bag is a perfect laid-back trompe l’oeil piece. A bag that looks like a baseball cap, many would be surprised why you’re carrying your cap crossbody. The illusion adds a layer of style intelligence to your overall outfit.

Medium cap bag
Medium cap bag/ Photo via JW Anderson website

Bottega Veneta Flannel-Printed Leather Shirt

Matthieu Blazy is a master in creating trompe l’oeil designs. In his SS23 show, the creative director showcased his fabric manipulation abilities by making plaid-looking jackets made of leather. Surely, Blazy created a breakthrough in fashion, by making leather look like comfortable cotton.

Oversized Flannel-Printed Leather Shirt
Oversized Flannel-Printed Leather Shirt/ Photo via Bottega Veneta website

Banner photo via Jean Paul Gaultier website.

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