Wednesday, December 30, 2015

High Style at CAM

What a wonderful way to conclude 2015 by sharing photographs from my visit to the Cincinnati Art Museum's High Style exhibit, on loan from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection until January 24, 2016 - the exhibit is FREE. The focus of the collection follows the timeline of high design from the late-1890s to the late-1980s, and features key American, French, and Italian designers and couture houses. 

One of the aspects of this exhibit that I greatly appreciate is the inclusion of many women designers, who, before the late 1950s, dominated the fashion industry, especially in the United States, and whose designs were pivotal to the evolution of fashion. We all know Chanel (unless you live on Mars, but even then...), but do you know designers Elsa Schiaparelli, Vera Maxwell, Madeleine Vionnet, Sally Victor, Claire McCardell, or Alix Grès? If not, you'd certainly recognize their sensational fashions! However, media recognition of these fabulous women designers throughout the history of modern fashion has been wanting, and in favor of men designers, like Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Charles Worth, and Charles James, etc., etc. For the ardent student and historian of fashion alike, it is necessary to know these women designers and their revolutionary contributions to the fashion industry. 

Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian designer, 1890-1973):

~Ivory crepe-back silk satin printed gown and parasol (1937)~

~Blue cotton dress with seed packet appliqués (1939)~

~Gilt metal necklace with green and red plastic enameled leaves (1938)~
~Clear rhodoid necklace with metallic painted pressed mental ornaments (1938)~

~Green and black silk faille gown with gold metallic weave (1937)~

Alix Grès (French designer, 1903-1993):

~White silk jersey evening gown (1937)~

~Taupe silk paper taffeta evening gown (1969)~

Charles James (American designer, 1906-1978):

~Clover gown - pink and ivory faille, cooper shantung, and black lace (1953)~

~Ribbon gown - rayon wool satin, and pastel silk faille, taffeta, and satin (1946)~

~Ribbon gown muslin toile~

Couture Houses:

~Black silk charmeuse evening gown by House of Drecoll (French 1912)~

~Day dress and evening dress by House of  Doucet (French c. 1903-1910)~

~Glazed printed cotton evening gown by House of Worth (American 1938)~

~Pink silk satin ensemble by House of Fontana (Italian 1954)~

Shoe Designers:

~Metallic kidskin pumps by Steven Arpad (French 1939)~

~Steven Arpad shoe and boot prototypes (French 1938-1939)~

~Steven Arpad shoe and boot prototypes (French 1938-1939)~

~Steven Arpad shoe prototypes (French 1938-1939)~

~Trunk and shoes by Pierre Yantorny (French 1914-1919)~

Get a load of that steamer truck of shoes - Wowwie! For more photographs of the High Style exhibit at the Cincinnati Art Museum, please visit my Pinterest page. Wishing you a safe, peaceful, and happy New Year!

Blessings and happy sewing!  

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Top Hat for a Witchy Gown

~Me, posing in my witchy gown (2012)~
Remember this costume, I made it in 2012? I finally had the opportunity to wear it over Halloween weekend to a friend's party - yippy! I didn't want to wear my feathered witch's hat (pictured); it just didn't fit the costume and it felt a bit cliche-ish. I had on hand a man's black felt top hat and immediately decided this was the way to go! 

Unfortunately, when the top hat idea struck me and all the decision making came down (colors, fabrics, ribbon, glitter, feathers - what to do, WHAT TO DO?!), it was three hours before the party on Friday night. I sped to Michael's Crafts, walked briskly through the front doors, and entered Christmas. NO! No, no! Surely, there was an isle somewhere marked "Clearance" loaded with Halloween stuff? No. There were four bins, violently rifled through, next to the checkout lanes. I happily took what I could get! With lightening speed and gobs of hot glue, a witchy top hat magically came to be...

Happy November, my wonderful friends! Blessings and happy sewing!