The concept of optical illusion , understood as an altered perception of reality, has always fascinated mankind. In the past these phenomena, of which the mirage is a typical example , were traced back to the paranormal, to magic …

But nowadays we know that illusions have a completely rational scientific explanation, which, however, has absolutely not affected the charm, nor the aura of mystery that characterizes these extraordinary figures.

In a nutshell, optical illusions are any illusion capable of deceiving the human visual apparatus, giving rise to erroneous perceptions of reality. Specifically, because of the illusions, it is possible to have the conviction of observing something that in reality is non-existent or to perceive something differently from how the latter actually presents itself. Optical illusions can originate naturally, or they can be induced through particular procedures suitable for altering the human perceptual system.

Depending on the phenomenon that originates from it, illusions are divided into optical (caused by purely optical phenomena), perceptive (caused by the physiology of the eye) and finally cognitive (due to the way in which our brain interprets certain images)

Optical illusions and fashion

Art, in its various forms, has always shown a strong attraction towards optical illusions, many artists have tried to use illusions to enrich their works and in this perspective the world of fashion has also tried to reinvent the concept of illusion. optics in order to create clothes capable of bewitching and bewitching as only illusions are capable of doing. Will you all remember, for example, the case of the 2015 web smash, Blue and black or white and gold dress? due to a short circuit in our visual system.

In the context of the successful combination of fashion and optical illusions , the predilection shown by many stylists for the concept of the illusion of color and contrast should be recognized. It should also be mentioned the geometric illusion , a particular type of cognitive illusion in which the geometry of the image or part of it is erroneously perceived, a striking example of this type of illusion is represented by the hypothesis in which parallel lines are mistakenly perceived as divergent, converging or curved., concretely this variety of illusion is usually proposed through the irreducible combination of Black & White.

From a historical point of view, the first manifestations of optical fashion, also called ” Op Art “, took place starting from the 60s, an era of great revolutions in which society pervaded by the desire to evolve and transform itself, aimed at giving rise to a multiplicity of experiments aimed at identifying new forms of expression and art. In this context, the extraordinary incisiveness and extravagance of the illusions managed to conquer the catwalks, becoming the fashion of the moment in the collective imagination.

The artists began to experiment with new techniques aimed at inserting the concept of illusion in the fields of painting, architecture and design and obviously fashion. One of the major exponents of this current is undoubtedly Bridget Riley . This extraordinary artist, born in London in 1931, was the first woman to win the international prize for painting at the 34th Venice Biennale in 1968. Riley made optical illusions her business card, creating wonderful and abstract “illusory” works . More similar to the field of fashion and then the name of  Cristobal Balenciaga , Spanish designer famous for his geometric dresses, but also that of Ossie Clark and Yves Saint Laurent, all enraptured by the beauty of the illusions born from the skilful combination of shapes and colors.

The fascinating optical prints became a symbol of style and refinement. The extravagant compositions were designed to capture attention, intrigue and to some extent confuse those who observed the clothing, true works of art!

Optical art, with its geometries with 3D effects, with its surprising contrasts and with its timeless combination of black and white, constitutes a style that has never faded and that indeed tends to reappear more current than ever!

Op Art with its intertwining lines, 3D motifs, hypnotic squares and the inevitable macro and micro polka dots is undoubtedly a fundamental piece in the varied panorama of high fashion, the latter sector in which the refinement of style it is certainly not an illusion.