Diego Velázquez, the most important painter of the Spanish Golden Age, immortalized himself in 1656 in Las Meninas, one of the world’s greatest works of art. Nearly 400 centuries later, Stéphane Rolland, one of the best couturiers in history, pays tribute to the Painter of Light by creating a collection that is like a pictural manifesto, a return to the Spanish Golden Age. Nieves Álvarez, a top model whose elegance is unique, replaces the Meninas in the inner courtyard of the neoclassical Théâtre de la Villette in Paris.
In his haute couture collection spring/summer 2021, Stéphane Rolland juxtaposes classical art with modern art, by reinterpreting Vélazquez’ masterwork of the royal collection and the monumental artworks of Manolo Valdés (79), a Spanish sculptor who recreated Las Meninas as giant bronze and steel statues.
The perspective of the lines in Stéphane Rolland’s Spring 2021 Collection is disrupted by the metamorphosis and distortion of the volumes as a reference to the monumental artworks of marble, resin or metal from the Spanish sculptor Manolo Valdés.
The gowns open up, bloom and blossom in a solar yet profound atmosphere. Headpieces of black rattan cane and crystal nets imprison the tidy buns of the infants.
Crystal or golden chain flows escape from a corset of leather macrame and fall on satin pajama pants and dramatic crinolines from Valdés.
The Iberian rigor confirms a genuine solemnity of the cut.
Wide jumpsuits and puffed courtdresses in golden gauze proudly convey rich embroideries of golden sequins, mother of pearl beads and malachite cabochons.
Stéphane Rolland’s signature: a sheath dress in white crepe and orchid sculpture in gazar.
Heads are crowned. Manes of golden leaves frame the face.
Long burnous dress. Pearl weave embroidery. Mane headpiece in golden metal.
VIDEO STEPHANE ROLLAND HAUTE COUTURE SPRING/SUMMER 2021
VIDEO: WHO WAS DIEGO VELÁZQUEZ?
Diego Velázquez was born in 1599 in Seville in southern Spain, at that time an enormously wealthy center of commerce with the New World, an extremely important ecclesiastical seat and home to that century’s great religious painters. The 17th century was the Golden Age for art and literature in Spain. Velázquez became the favourite court painter of King Philip IV, who would allow no one else to paint him. At the royal court in Madrid, Velázquez painted royal portraits of the king and his family including the queen, their children, and their court jesters and dwarfs. In his most famous work, Las Meninas (The Maids of Honour) Velázquez immortalized himself by showing himself at work in the court.
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