Fashion · University

Motif Trend – Butterflies

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“Culturally, butterflies are a popular motif in the visual and literary arts.” – Wikipedia

Like I mentioned in my last post (Narrative trend) , we had to identify examples of trends as part of our FCP course. For this particular type of trend, MOTIF, I chose to feature ‘butterflies’ because I’ve seen so many types of this motif on the runway, home interiors, products and also in advertising campaigns. 

RUNWAY AND COLLECTIONS 

Designers like Valentino, Jean Paul Gaulthier, Alexander McQueen, Lie Sang Bong and Erin Fetherston have all inspired by this trend.  Givenchy have taken a more subtle approach, while Jean Paul Gaulthier actually created a butterfly silhouette as a dress. Valentino’s Pre-Fall 2014 collection used the motif as a background wallpaper.

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Left to right above – Givenchy Fall 2014, Jean Paul Gaulthier 2014, Lie Sang Bong SS13, Jean Paul Gaulthier 2014

Erin Fetherston, Givenchy and Lie Sang Bong’s art direction are much lighter, with nude or colourful butterflies in their collection which is in contrast to JP Gaulthier’s 2014 collection’s more seductive, sexy and darker colour palette. It’s definitely a different vibe as opposed to the playful mood the other designers went for.

EDITORIAL CAMPAIGNS 

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Left to right above – US Harper’s Bazaar Sept 2013, Vogue May 2014, UK Harper’s Bazaar 

Most of the editorial campaigns I saw when I was researching this trend, I noticed that they had the butterflies with the models. It doesn’t necessarily have butterfly-printed clothes but they are still featuring butterflies. It’s either just resting on their exposed arms and shoulders to make it stand out more or they are also visible in the background hovering above the model. The narrative or the ‘message’ the publications are trying to convey is that butterflies will latch on to ‘beautiful things’. They are trying to persuade the reader to buy the clothes.

INTERIOR/PRODUCTS 

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Butterflies are also popular with interiors and product designs. You can see butterfly-printed wallpaper, curtains, pillows, plates and cutlery. You can say that the narrative/story associated with the motif is that because it’s light, fresh, airy and colourful, the home and products will give off that vibe too.

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BEAUTY/ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS 

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Beauty make-up collections also featured butterflies in trying to cover part of the face so viewers can focus on the product they are trying to advertise. For example, the Chanel summer 2013 makeup collection was inspired by butterfly wings and to make the ‘lipstick’ stand out, they decided to cover other parts of her face with the butterflies. Other similar trends were spotted in different brand’s advertising campaigns as shown above.

DETAILS FROM RUNWAY COLLECTIONS 

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SEE MY PINTEREST PAGE OF MOTIF – BUTTERFLIES 

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