Something that I have loved to see have a resurgence in popular design is the use of a silhouette. I remember going to Disney World as a girl and getting a custom silhouette made and framed. My sister and I thought they were the neatest thing, and loved that even our eyelashes were cut out! Talk about some detail, and as an adult I wish my eye lashes were as long as they were shown in the cut-out (girls you know what I’m talking about). Well that was a LONG time ago, and in the last few years, I have often seen this older form of capturing people used throughout new design.
A little history behind the silhouette cutting is that it originated in the early 1700s in Europe. Silhouette cutters were hired to amuse the royal class. They would come to balls and galas and cut out distinguished guests showing off the latest fashions and elaborate wigs of the time. The name “Silhouette” comes from the Finance Minister of France at the time, Etienne de Silhouette, who taxed the French people mercilessly. It was said that he was more amused by the paper cut-outs than the welfare of the people. So the name Silhouette stuck. Who knew?!
Not only are silhouettes being used in the traditional sense, but they are now incorporated into other areas of design. Some of the most unique fabrics and wallpapers I have seen lately have used the silhouette in a playful way. Osborne and Little puts a great spin on this with their wallpapers including people and dogs! Not only have fabric manufacturers added this to their offerings, but artists and designers have as well. Below are a few fantastic examples of today’s new use of the silhouette.
There are also some great DIY projects showing you how to create silhouettes of your family, friends and pets. I even did one for my family two Christmases ago. You know we are some serious dog lovers here, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some day you see a few cut-outs of Pixie and Gumbo! It only seems fitting, since they are Spruce royalty .
In exciting similar news, Austin Tidbits will be mentioning next Tuesday (the 29th) our own version of the silhouette, the Willie Pillow! If you purchase a Willie Pillow between June 29th and July 15th, mention the Tidbits listing to receive a discounted rate of $65. Check it out!