It all started with Elsa Schiaparelli. Sure, artwork incorporating this technique has existed since, well, antiquity, but the fundamental example of a garment incorporating the trompe l’œil (trump-loy) style has got to be Schiaparelli’s infamous knit sweaters, which, true to form, ultimately render a two-dimensional design seemingly three-dimensional. You know… an optical illusion.

And, as the fashion cosmos commands it, trompe l’œil tidbits have been making their way back to ‘now’ for another round; this season, in the form of dresses, tops, tunics–even accessories. Related note: Chanel also recently released a variety of ‘trompe l’œil’ temporary tattoos (get it?) that is pretty popular (and which sells for $75). And don’t miss that Phillip Lim jacket with the shirt collar that takes the whole idea in a different direction. Tricky, tricky.

So. Is it all a bit on the kitch-y side? Yes. But I think we’d all agree that if it’s good enough for Elsa… we can probably make it work.

1. Elsa Schiaparelli Trompe L’Œil Sweater, priceless
2. Chanel Les Trompe L’œil Temporary Skin Art, $75
3. Kate Spade Brushstroke Bow Scarf, $125
4. Cooperative Trompe L’Œil Eyeglass Case, $10
5. 3.1 Phillip Lim Trompe L’Œil Bomber Jacket, $995
6. Full Circle Chain Pocket Watch T-Shirt, $54


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