Tre Couture: Fashion Icons in Lighting

I’ve rounded up a few of the classiest “things” that have become fashion icons…lighting design included.

“Fashion is not simply a matter of clothes. Fashion is in the air, born upon the wind. One intuits it. It is in the sky and on the road.” Coco Chanel

There’s something magical and seemingly effortless about good fashion, and some looks will never go out of style. Take the little black dress, for example–a simple cut, a single color, and yet a stunning statement for any occasion.

I’ve rounded up a few of the classiest “things” that have become fashion icons… things that are inspirational across a plethora of artistic genres. By pairing them with a select number of fixtures, one can see the direct impact bold, cutting edge ideas have had on the rest of the world of fashion — lighting design included.

Enjoy! And be inspired.

The Little Black Dress

Originally designed in the 1920s by Coco Chanel, the look was widely popularized by Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. She wore a simple yet sexy piece by Givenchy and instantly turned it into a fashion icon.

Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy's Little Black Dress

Here’s the look as it translates into lighting design, as seen in the Spun Light F Floor Lamp by Flos:

Spun Light F Floor Lamp by Flos

The Uniform

It doesn’t matter what kind of uniform it is. Whether representing the military, medical field, or mechanical profession, there’s something sexy about someone in uniform. The regulated outfit stands for responsibility, power, discipline, and commands respect.

Modeled after the uniforms worn by such noble characters as the Three Musketeers (as well as other actual historical soldiers during the 1700s), the Tabard Wall Sconce by Pallucco is certainly no stretch of the imagination when pairing it with its inspiration.

(Some of you may notice I’m revisiting this family — it’s just too cool to ignore!)

Tabard Wall Sconce by Pallucco

The Martini

Shaken, stirred, straight up or on the rocks. The martini is a classic choice when it comes to enjoying an evening libation. Humphrey Bogart, Sir Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and, of course, James Bond were all well-known Martini drinkers. No one is certain of the drink’s origin, but I doubt that would stop any of these men from imbibing at cocktail hour.

Daniel Craig drinking a Vesper martini

Here’s the look as the Baraga Mini Pendant by Kichler. I guess someone finished theirs. Check out the rest of the Baraga family for the chandelier and wall sconce counterparts.

Baraga Mini Pendant by Kichler


Used in a number of ways as far back as the Copper Age, gold has been used for jewelry, food and drink, even medicine–people believed something so beautiful and rare could only be healthy, so why not use it to cure a cold?

Flake of crystallized gold, Red Ledge mine, Nevada Co., California

Though the medicinal value has gone out of vogue, the practice of using gold as a decorative element will be around until the end of mankind.

The 24 Karat Blau T Table Lamp by Ingo Maurer takes gold to a malleable level–of design, that is. This lamp’s shades actually have gold leaf on them and each shade can be rearranged for just the right look. The fixture also comes in a pendant design. Um, gold hanging from the ceiling? Yes, please!

24 Karat Blau T Table Lamp by Ingo Maurer

Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

But hey — guys like them, too. Diamonds have become a hot commodity for a number of well-known reasons — their strong physical quality and their rare presence in nature top the list. The word itself comes from the ancient Greek for “unbreakable”.

Emerald cut diamond

Inspired by such beauty and value, the Diamond Floor Lamp by SLAMP is one example of how the precious gem has influenced contemporary design. The body of the lamp is made of polyflex, a unique blend of polymers and additives that allow the structure to remain durable while allowing the most amount of light to diffuse into a space. Like facets on a diamond, this lamp seems to bounce light off its angled surface and create a unique, crystalline look for the contemporary living room.

Diamond Floor Lamp by SLAMP

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