China Chic, New York, 2016 Two dresses with example of original work that inspired their pattern. I learn just as much (or even more) from this straight-forward exhibition as I do a window dressed multiple-mannequin presentation.
I am not one to criticize French taste – I usually hold it in the highest regard. However, the current Dior exhibition in Paris is making me think that maybe they don’t always get it right.
A trend has been building in the museum field for twenty years now, led primarily by the Met in New York, for making fashion exhibitions into installations that look more like Bergdorf Goodman windows — but too much window dressing can make forests out of trees. Perhaps I am more of a purist – I am happy with a good clean presentation of salient artifacts so I can appreciate every item and understand its placement in the exhibition and interpretation in the text. Sometimes multiples are a great way to make a point but quantity very quickly overpowers quality when used unnecessarily, and presentation overpowers content when the settings and props overpower the artifacts.
Would any other art form be subject to this kind of window dressing? Would paintings by Picasso be shown suspended from the ceiling like a flock of geese? Would old masters be reframed in bubblegum pink plastic frames? in the mid 1990s, the Art Gallery of Ontario created a Victorian picture gallery to show how paintings used to be presented, from floor to ceiling – it was a great way to show their, frankly, second-rate art because the presentation was more interesting than the art itself.
Dior exhibition, Paris 2017, LOTS of dresses, round and stacked stages, cases, architecture, light show… there is a lot going on
Dior exhibition, Paris 2017, artifacts or wall texture?
Dior exhibition, Paris 2017, claustrophobic ceiling treatment is impressive, but does it enhance or compete with the couture?
The Model as Muse, New York 2009, 10 versions where 2 or 3 would have sufficed – and floating forms
The Model as Muse, New York 2009 – Graffiti complimentary or competing?
China Chic, New York 2016, Multiples make the point, but the individual gowns are sacrificed for the overall message
According to Online Etymology Dictionary, a Welsh comb dates from 1796 and means using your thumb and four fingers to comb your hair.
Considering most men had doffed their wigs by the mid 1790s and were sporting their own hair, which was often long, it would have been difficult not to run your fingers through your own hair… but why blame the Welsh?
This is an excellent example of a wearable art collection that presents itself as a provocative fashion idea, but is not intended to be taken as a serious fashion direction. These collections get far more attention than they warrant, mostly due to social media. This collection, which pretends to be a serious suggestion for transgender chic, isn’t made well and doesn’t present any new ideas not already seen in the Rocky Horror Picture Show over 40 years ago. Few designers can make successful ‘shock chic’ collections. The few who can make it work have superior design skills and technical prowess (McQueen, Halpern, Viktor & Rolf…)
I run across a variety of cleaning tips in old magazines etc. and I am sure some of them are good… Here is one from the back of a cigarette card that I doubt I will be trying anytime soon, but maybe it works:
A recent article on Messy Nessy brought up a little known piece of sexist uniform history – beefcake carhops. According to Paula Bosse of Flashback Dallas in the late 1930s “Women were dressing in scanty outfits, hula skirts, midriff-baring costumes, to serve drive-in customers,” and so the owner of one of those restaurants in Dallas had the idea of appealing to female customers by putting men in scanty serving uniforms too. The hunky male server trend was short-lived though, in part because of the onset of WWII with young men enlisting to serve their country rather than hamburgers.
I just discovered a new museum of underwear. The Underpinning Museum was founded late last year in England and is currently only online but they do pop-up exhibitions and events that are listed on their site (underpinningsmuseum.com).