In the lagoon that surrounds Venice lies an island named Burano, bespeckled with colorful houses. There’s a legend of an ancient betrothed (engaged) fisherman, who was fishing in the lagoons surrounding the Burano island. On his trip home, he came upon a siren who wouldn’t let him pass and attempted to entice him with her singing. He refused, staying faithful to his love back home. Enchanted by his faithfulness, the siren queen thumped the side of the fisherman’s boat with her tail, creating a wave of foam from which a wedding veil developed. The fisherman brought the veil back home and gifted it to his fiance on the day of their wedding. She was admired and envied by all the young ladies of Burano, who all set out to imitate the lace of the veil. This is the story of how the intricate Burano lace designs were born.
The first laces of Burano date back to the 1500’s, when the intricate workmanship of the needle-and-thread lace making first came about. Geometrical, floral and animal designs quickly became the embroidery patterns of choice among the rich people of Venice. Soon, word of the lace designs spread to France and many of the Burano lacemakers were invited to travel there to begin lace production in the country. While the French stitch become popular, the Venetian stitch remained the most coveted. Burano continued to be the lace capital of the world, with its very own Scuola Merletti or Lace School. Today, the Burano Lace Museum sits in the former space of the Burano Lace School and is home to rare and precious pieces of Venetian lace.
Every small detail was carefully planned and stitched – it is incredible to see the designs up close! The beautiful designs brought along a sense of awe and nostalgia for another era. We wanted to bring this special feeling into our clothing for your little citizens. Later this season, you’ll find that many of our special occasion and everyday dresses feature hints of lace, sometimes in print and sometimes in actual embroidery, and always designed with special care.