Butterflies are often used as symbols in both art and literature. Metaphors for freedom, life and sometimes even death as they imply a sense of transitoriness, butterflies also add a sort of fantastical presence in a realist narrative this is why they often appear in different stories.
Iridescent insects of shimmering colours, butterflies are for example a dominant presence in Italo Calvino's books and in his universe, making important appearances in his tales.
In The Path to the Spiders' Nests, Pin meets mountain butterflies of strange colours meandering over the meadows. These butterflies are used in the story to create contrasts with the tattooed butterfly on Mancino's body.
Butterflies reappear in The Cloven Viscount where they take the feature of a Gorgon and return in If on a Winter's Night a Traveller as symbols of the lightness of the act of reading as opposed to the weight of the act of writing. In a nutshell, we could say that Calvino used butterflies as elements to create variations on symbolic and thematic levels.
In a way, Korean designer Lie Sang Bong did the same in his Spring/Summer 2013 collection. In his case, though, butterflies were mainly symbols of transformation: on a more superficial level they became the transforming motif employed for both day and evening looks; on a more in-depth level they represented modern women, often in constant mutation, adapting to different situations and roles, and sometimes going through an internal turmoil. This transformation was mirrored in the clothes that went from wearable into more extravagant, with a final dress that consisted in a rigid crinoline-like structure on which multi-coloured butterflies seemed to rest. Yet the theme of mutation was clear also in the combination of elements used, including draped motifs, surface elaboration and mixes of different textiles (silk, wool and silk cotton).
The designer was also inspired by the '60s and injected a sense of nostalgia for his childhood in the designs, employing retro elements for what regarded shapes and volumes.
Though in most cases the colourful butterfly (at times reminiscent of Hanae Mori's butterfly dresses from the '60s View this photo) and houndstooth prints were used as decorative elements, in others the shapes of the insects inspired to Lie Sang Bong structural features including precise tailoring and multiple cuts used to give an architectural edge to his garments.Boxxet Network of Blogs, Videos and Photos
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