Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Difference Between Just Right and Overwhelming

Two 2-piece pantsuits from 1969. Two bold prints. One just right and one overwhelming. Can you see the difference?

This set by Adele Simpson (that's the designer peeking out behind the model) is fashioned from a bold, large scale floral print.  What makes this work is the fact that the print is broken up by the bare midriff and short sleeves.  The beading also gives the eye a rest by giving it a place to stop.  Everything about this set works to perfection.

Now look at this tunic and pants set by Saks Fifth Avenue.  The bold black and white print long-sleeved tunic with it's buttoned up collar and the wide-legged pants overwhelm the model.  Your eye can't settle because that print is everywhere.  You don't even see the model's face.  How would this work better?  Short sleeves would help.  A lower neckline would help. A solid color wide belt would help.  But this set would probably be best broken up.  Wear the tunic with solid pants or wear the pants with a solid top.  Both together?  Too much.  Do you agree?

3 comments:

Vintage Living Magazine said...

Bold and absolutely stunning! Thank you for sharing. :-)

Sarah said...

I think thAt to our 2011 eyes, the bottom image is just too much. I think that at the momet the photo wastaken...it looked better to the audience it was meant for. There was something so exciting about the large scale prints and the too much muchness that was emerging in 1969. Today we see the need to edit that wild loud and crazy down...then it was "more is more"

deang said...

I think the second one looks fine as is, but it would probably also look good altered the way you suggest. I think just removing the headband and allowing the hair to fall freely would create enough of a dark space up above to balance out the broad sweep of the print. I also think seeing the outfit in motion would make it look less overwhelming, would soften the effect a bit. I remember commonly seeing prints like that in the late 60s and early 70s, even on voluminous garments like caftans.

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