All Mapped Out

All Mapped Out

>> Isabelle OC beat me to her mapped out post but the origin is the same.  My faithful Acne scarf printed with an old map of Stockholm on it has served me well in the printed map front.  The fresh influx of printed map activity from Carven's resort collection has been tempting enough but when paired with captivating birds of flight made out of maps or pleated map dresses seen at The First Cut paper art exhibition, it only exacerbates the need to get some new mapped out garments in my life.  

Claire Brewster's intricately cut-out vintage map birds made me wish I was the sort of person that put away money for a rainy day to buy an extravagant piece of art.  Brewster creates movement and breathes life into old maps and atlases with incisions, mimicking birds in flight, swarms of insects or tropical plants.  They're often installed standing away from the wall or foundation board so that they cast complicated shadows that make the cut-outs look like they're fluttering about on the walls.  I've got my eye on any one of the London map pieces by Brewster to start my spiralling downfall towards being one of those people who say "Oh, I'm a collector…"






Carven is no stranger to maps printed on garments.  Guillaume Henry's girl has always tended to be a bookish creature, travelling in her head by flipping through atlases.  Last summer she was skipping around a bright chartreuse-tinged map of Maine.  This time round, she's closer to her home turf, bounding about an old engraving of Paris.  Now's the time to say cheesy French phrases like "Ooohhh…tr√©s jolie!"  There's no way you can't feel that old cartography printed on to cute blazers, A-line skirts and blouses is anything but jolly/jolie.  The temptation would be to buy the whole lot and skip around the streets of you guessed it, Pareeeee…


Carvenmap2Carven printed jacket, skirt and wedges from Matches Fashion, Carven printed dress and shirt from Net a Porter.  

Elisabeth Lecourt is perhaps the most common answer on Google if you search for "map dress".  Her famous series "Les robes g√©ographiques" reach almost iconic levels, when it comes to being blogged and reblogged, so much so that I suspect some people are looking at these flat pleated dresses and wondering whether they're actual wearable garments.  It would be criminal to leave Lecourt out in an exhibition about artists who cut, sculpt and manipulate paper.





Christopher Raeburn made some incredible new strides in his Deploy/Flight S/S 13 collection.  The signature lightweight macs and nylon outerwear is injected with femininity seen in the trapped lace parkas and a delicate looking ripstock lace looking like a camouflage pattern.  The most impressive part of the collection though was the "Remade" element, which is always present in Raeburn's design ethos.  Raeburn came across a cache of old 1950s military escape maps that were printed on lightweight silk so that they wouldn't get destroyed in the rain.  Raeburn didn't even have to transfer any print to a wearable fabric as they were already printed out for him, ready to make playsuits, bomber jackets and dresses.  Up close, it's fascinating to make out the physical geography on the maps but from afar, it's a beautiful print that looks anything but upcycled or reused.    









This 1970s vintage Chloe dress has been hanging around the Merchant Archive website for a while.  What with their starry clientale these days with fans such as Florence "and the Machines" Welch, it's surprising that there's anything left to be honest.  I might falter and give in to this dress anytime soon though if nobody shares my love of this abstracted colourful globe pattern.  



Chris Kenny's piece Capella is based on a galaxy formation of found map pieces.  For him it's "a fetishistic accumulation of data" – an observation of human presence in a world divided up by unnatural territorial borders.



Finally, trusty Etsy (which has somehow become more interesting than eBay in terms of unique pieces…) has a mapped out specimen, printed with the highway routes of USA and set into a diagonal window pane shift dress.  




Leave a comment
  1. Domenic Bartlett-Roylance

    2013-01-29 at 1:52 AM

    So hip I had to cover my eyes with my hand a little bit..
    XX Domenic.

  2. GIAA

    2013-01-29 at 2:17 AM

    wow this is amazing, only on your blog can I find these kind of things! Wonderful!

  3. Rhoda Wong

    2013-01-29 at 2:43 AM
  4. Performance and Cocktails

    2013-01-29 at 2:47 AM

    A post like this is why you are the Empress of all bloggers. Just beautiful.

  5. collected by Katja

    2013-01-29 at 8:15 AM

    Great article – thank’s for introducing this great idea or rather the designer with us! Happy about networking and following each other

  6. Rose Marie

    2013-01-29 at 11:55 AM

    So beautiful, so fashionable and you can learn something too! I found a beautiful mens silk scarf by Balenciaga from 2007!
    I’ve just started my own blog, please check it out!

  7. Mariana

    2013-01-29 at 12:15 PM

    Absolutely love how interesting the map printed dress is! Great post – very inspiring and I learnt something new!
    x Mariana |
    twitter: @marianabranicio

  8. Rachel

    2013-01-29 at 3:57 PM

    I love cartography inspired work! Have you checked out the book “Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography”? A lot of the artists you featured here are also in the book–along with a lot more inspiration on the topic, I think it is definitely worth checking out if you are interested in this kind of work. For a quicker access there is also a really cool online initiative called “Radical Cartography” ( that generates beautifully rendered artistic maps. I know these aren’t specifically clothing oriented but they are still really cool.
    I have been a long time reader of yours (for years now) and I think this is the first time I have left a comment so I just want to say thank you for always providing amazing content for your readers!

  9. Charlotte

    2013-01-29 at 5:54 PM
  10. Aga

    2013-01-29 at 7:26 PM

    So beautiful, I love sth new in fashion, and please visit

  11. Lucy

    2013-01-29 at 7:52 PM

    Recently completed a project inspired by movement and maps! This is amazing inspiration! Thank you!!

  12. INTIZ

    2013-01-29 at 9:03 PM

    Very amazing..the prints really blow my mind!

  13. milex

    2013-01-30 at 1:06 AM

    It looks like my dreams

  14. it is fantastic, isn’t it?
    kss from Spain

  15. riris

    2013-01-30 at 4:48 AM

    OMG!! this is greaaaaaatttt, so inspiring..

  16. Turf Dressing

    2013-01-30 at 7:25 AM

    A very interesting blog, many thanks for sharing it with us. We have a very similar situation where I live in Wolverhampton.

  17. Kris - Caterer

    2013-01-30 at 8:30 AM

    So cute and so so clever…..Some people so talented !! Great idea!

  18. Lauren

    2013-01-30 at 8:40 AM

    truly deeply wonderful! Now I can wear a dress while whilst improving my geography!
    -Lauren at adorn la femme

  19. Fashion Design Program

    2013-01-30 at 9:04 AM

    Love how exciting the map printed dress is! Great post very motivating and I discovered something new.

  20. Joy

    2013-01-30 at 11:00 AM

    Wow. this is totally out of this world (no pun intended!!) – amazing, love, love, love it!


    2013-01-30 at 11:31 AM

    I love interesting print, and Carven such brilliant combination.
    Thank you Susie guapa for bringing fashion from the edge.

  22. Mini Moroc

    2013-01-30 at 12:27 PM

    Amazing designs of all mapped bubbles thanks for share here.
    Girls Summer Dresses

  23. Milly

    2013-01-30 at 1:35 PM

    Chris Kenny is my father! Love this post.

  24. Street Fashion Paris

    2013-01-30 at 4:55 PM

    Beautiful design!!! so mind blowing!!!

  25. wholesale clothing

    2013-01-30 at 7:44 PM

    Those map shoes are amazing!!

  26. The Provoker

    2013-01-30 at 8:21 PM

    This is such an intense concept, I love it when designers or artist play with mapping, even literally! You should check out my denim on denim on neon kidult look, which sort of looks like Peter Pan gave me a makeover… tell me what you think of it even if it only provokes you a bit 😉
    xx The Provoker

  27. Hannah Jackson

    2013-01-31 at 1:46 AM

    SO original, I love it! Hannah @ hjjewellery x

  28. lawn sand

    2013-01-31 at 12:50 PM

    Very original design, and looks actually very classy.

  29. Driveway Cleaning

    2013-01-31 at 12:51 PM

    Absolutely love the designs

  30. Carol C.

    2013-01-31 at 12:59 PM

    Argh! this is one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that’ things 😀 I would love a bagpack/rucksack with a map print……..anyone seen any? It would be so appropriate for travelling 😉


    2013-01-31 at 6:28 PM

    beautiful pieces. creating some kind of melancholic mood andthe desire to reach and see more. wonderful example of fashion being art.

  32. Peter

    2013-02-01 at 8:09 AM

    I predict a Mary Katrantzou map collection in the near future.

  33. ethangrze

    2013-02-02 at 4:14 AM

    This is a very nice and intersting blog i realy like it…Prom Dresses 2013

  34. Nicole

    2013-02-02 at 11:02 AM

    omg these are amazing huh!

  35. Isabelle

    2013-02-04 at 2:32 PM

    Love your map round-up, can’t believe I left off Christopher Raeburn xx

  36. carlene123

    2013-09-06 at 10:20 AM

    Just desire to say your article is as surprising. The clarity in your post is simply excellent and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject
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  37. Rachael

    2016-06-06 at 2:24 PM

    Wow, never seen anything like it. Love the shoes x

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