Did you know our Marin Bib Top was inspired by Dutch fashion from the late 17th century?
The Dutch Golden Age spanning the 17th century was a period of great wealth for the Dutch Republic. As trade blossomed with the East India Company, newfound prosperity enabled Dutch citizens to purchase paintings and works of decorative art.
What better way to display your wealth than to commission a portrait of yourself?
Portrait of Maerten Soolmans and Portrait of Oopjen Coppit, 1634.
By Rembrandt Van Rijn (1606–1669)
Pre-Chanel LBD Chic: Apart from the lace, their clothes may look dark and serious, but black was actually one of the most expensive dyes in the 1600s, so wearing it to have your portrait painted was a matter of putting on your Sunday best.
So black is the old black, but those folks knew how to play up the color with textures like brocade, velvet, lace, gold and pearl jewelry, and pristine white collars—or all of them at once!
The above pair of portraits by Rembrandt showed the fashion of the 1630s, when the breadth of your white-lace collar was directly proportional to your wealth and status.
By the time 1660s came along, the collar had evolved into the flat "falling" collar. And here, my readers, was where I found my inspiration.
Syndics of the Drapers' Guild, 1662.
by Rembrandt Van Rijn (1606–1669)
Above is a scene Rembrandt painted almost 30 years later, and everyone's wearing a cleaner, squarer collar.
You can also see the same collar in The Miniaturist on PBS Masterpiece (my favorite source of period costume drama):
The Miniaturist, PBS Masterpiece
The reduction of frills and lace was such a modern concept! To incorporate the look in my top, I turned the 17th-century detail into the shape of a bib. With my top, the corners were softened for a feminine touch. The slit at the neck mimics the separation of collar while giving the wearer a hint of skin. Finally, I took the name "Marin" from one of the characters on The Miniaturist—a proper-seeming woman with a secret life.
And that's how the Bib Top was born.