Stella McCartney – SS12

Pointillism is a technique of painting introduced in 1886 by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. The technique involves painting in small distinct dots of pure colour in patterns to create an image. The technique relies on the viewer’s eyes to blend the dots of colour together in order to make the illusion that there is a full image. The typical subjects of Pointillist paintings would be portraits or landscapes where light and tone are important.

Signac painted in pointillism using very fine dots which are very close together such as his famous work Femmes au Puits 1892. However, Seurat used heavier and larger dots of colour to show the distinct shape of the dots such as his work La Parade de Cirque 1889.

Other artists who have experimented with the Pointilist style include Vincent Van Gogh, Maximillien Luce and Georges Lemmen. Designers have taken strong influence from the Pointillist’s work and have transformed this style to the runway.


Stella McCartney – SS12

In particular, Carolina Herrera created a wedding gown around Georges Seurat painting in 2010, including a veil made of very fine dots, and a lace gown decorated with dots all over the bodice. Other designers such as Veronica Etro in Milan have also experimented with the style and created clothing with a dotted affect mirroring the technique of the Pointillists. Polka dots have also been created after the inspiration of this technique and can be seen across the fashion industry and high street, it has become one of the essential items for the wardrobe.

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Written by Felicity Jones

Felicity Jones, studying Literature at Portsmouth University, with a passion for all things art and fashion, writer/reader/ editor/ artist/ dedicated shopper. Felicity looks after the Catwalk Yourself Art Dictionary.

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