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art fashion Fashion exhibit Travel Uncategorized

Louis Vuitton Exhibition Rooms 6-10

If you pay attention to fashion news you probably already know that the Louis Vuitton exhibition, that has been a hit in other international cities has made its way to New York City. I made my way to the exhibition twice already and plan to go back before it closes. I wrote a review of the first 5 rooms of the exhibit which you can read here. The following is an overview of the next 5 rooms, which concludes the exhibition.

 

The Painting Trunk

Louis Vuitton’s relationship with the world of art began in 1924 when art dealer Rene’ Gimpel ordered a trunk for his business trips to New York, Paris and London. To meet the needs of artists like Rene, Louis Vuitton created larger trunks with drawers that could protect the artwork during travel. Returning to the companies roots of protective packaging caught the eye of the art world and soon other artists became customers as well. Masters of the art world such as the artist Matisse became clients of Louis Vuitton. Many artists developed close ties to the company and were given the opportunity to design one of a kind trunks. Over the years these ” artists in residence” have created new fabrics, patterns and designs for the house of Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton’s most recent collaboration has been with the artists Jeff Koons whose collection includes recreations of master works.

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Curio Trunks

During the 1900’s Gaston-Louis started buying trunks from previous customers to create his trunk collection. To start this process he would send certain customers a questionnaire to learn more about their trunks. Next the customers that returned the questionnaire, were sent an offer by Gaston to buy their trunks. The trunks in The Curio Trunks room consists of the trunks Gaston bought to create his collection.

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The Beauty of Fashion

Trunks for Stars

During the 1920’s and 1930’s the house of Louis Vuitton stepped beyond the trunk and started making beauty items, furniture pieces and specialty items. Hollywood’s starlets ordered velvet lined trunks along with the various new pieces the house was creating. Specialty pieces that were made for stars include a vanity case for Sharon Stone, wardrobe trunk for Katharine Hepburn and a suitcase and vanity set for Elizabeth Taylor. Stars around the globe continue to order from the house to help them with their travel and everyday needs.

 

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Exquisite Bottles

It was in 1927 that Gaston-Louis Vuitton created the first fragrance for Louis Vuitton, in an effort to expand the fields in which Louis Vuitton played. He cared just as much for the look of the bottle as he did the fragrance itself. Being so each time the house created a new fragrance Gaston would commission masters in the decorative arts field to design the bottles. The collaborations became a tradition for the house with its latest being in 2016 with designer Marc Newson.

 

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Sophisticated Dandies

Not only were silver screen actresses customers of Louis Vuitton, but so were actors. Many of the first were French actors that ordered foot and wardrobe trunks. The actors also ordered garment bangs and toiletry bags that helped push the brand into the menswear arena. In the 1920’s the making of canes with carved heads was another collaboration opportunity for the house and different artists to create unique pieces.

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Collaborations

Besides artists the house has collaborated with individual designers over the years. The introduction of different designers to Louis Vuitton began in 1996 when Azzedine Alana, Manolo Blahnik, Romeo Gigli, Helmut Lang, Isaac Mizrahi, Sybilla and Viviene Westwood were invited to collaborate with the house. This event helped mark Louis Vuitton’s one-hundredth anniversary. In 1997 Louis Vuitton officially entered the  fashion sphere with a ready-to-wear line. Guiding this new avenue for the brand was Marc Jacobs, the artistic director of the ready- to-wear line for almost 16 years. Jacobs used many of the artistic collaborations as inspirations for his collections. The designers that took on the role as Artistic Director after Jacobs departure also used artists and authors to create unique collections.

 

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The Music Room

Other than making trunks for clothing, art and writing the house of Louis Vuitton has been known to make trunks for musical artists as well. Delicate musical instruments have been stored in these special order trunks. Violins, guitars and more have found a safe haven for travel with Louis Vuitton.

Louis Vuitton

 

Louis Vuitton Loves America

In 1893 Georges Vuitton made his first step into the U.S market when he attended the Chicago World’s Fair. While there he met John Wanamaker, owner of the first ever department stores. A few years later in 1898 Wanamaker put Louis Vuitton in his New York and Philadelphia stores. By the roaring 20’s Louis Vuitton had become the luxury luggage of choice for people all over the country.

Fast forward to 1997 to one of the most memorable Louis Vuitton eras which is when Marc Jacobs became Artistic Director. The designer guided the brand into the new millennium and held the position as Artistic Director for 16 years. During this time he made iconic collaborations with various artists including Yayoi Kusama who introduced her signature polka dot and Stephen Spouse who created graffiti inspired designs. Currently guiding the Louis Vuitton brand through each season is Nicolas Ghesquiere whose dressed celebrities like Taylor Swift and Nicole Kidman among others.

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Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquiere worn by Riley Keogh at the 2014 Amfar Ceremony

 

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquiere 2017 worn by Ruth Negga for the Golden Globes

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquiere 2017 worn by Michelle Williams

Louis Vuitton

Nicolas Ghesquiere for Louis Vuitton worn by Taylor Swift at the 2016 Met Gala.

Louis Vuitton

Nicolas Ghesquiere for Louis Vuitton worn by Jennifer Connelly at the 2017 Met Ball.

 

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton by Marc Jacobs and artist Stephen Spouse printed roses skirt.

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton by Marc Jacobs, feather headpiece and mink short dress and graffiti legging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Louis Vuitton

Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton. Worn by Madonna at the 2009 Met Ball.

 

I hope you get to see this amazing and encompassing exhibition. If you don’t I hope you’ve enjoyed my reviews. I learned so many interesting facts of a brand that I’ve worked for in the past, but had no idea of!

The Louis Vuitton Volez, Voguez, Voyagez exhibition will be on display at the New York Stock Exchange building on 86th Trinity Place in the financial district until January 7th 2018.

T.S.

fashion Fashion exhibit History Uncategorized

The Louis Vuitton Exhibition: Rooms 1-5

Louis Vuitton

 

The Louis Vuitton Volez, Voguez, Vayagez (Fly, Sail, Travel) exhibition has made its way around the globe. Originating in Paris, the brands birthplace the presentation has finally made its way to New York City after much anticipation. Both Paris and Tokyo viewers of the exhbition have given rave reviews of this immersive exhibition. And it is no wonder why when each room of the Louis Vuitton exhibition was curated to not only showcase the immersive Louis Vuitton history from past to present, but honor the city in which it is held. The original stock exchange building where the exhibition is housed is a New York City institution and is magnificent on its own. As you make you way into each room you are transported to the past, with each interiorly transformed to represent Louis Vuitton’s history. The exhibition has an accompanying app that gives you an interactive experience, so be sure to download that first!

 

History of Louis Vuitton the Man

At the age of 14 Louis Vuitton left his village in Eastern France on foot and made his way to Paris two years later. As a young man he apprenticed as a box maker and packer for the box manufacturer Romaine Marechal. By 1854 he founded the company of Louis Vuitton on rue Nerve-des-Capucines which became  one of Paris’s most famous shopping boulevards. His lightweight yet strong designs became a hit amongst high society. Louis is credited in perfecting the flat trunk, the first step towards modern luggage. By 1875 he created the wardrobe trunk which allowed the traveler to hang their clothes in the luggage. This invention skyrocketed the already booming company.

Louis Vuitton

 

Part 1-The Trunk of 1906

In 1896 Louis Vuitton’s son Georges created the “LV” monogram which the house is known for. In 1906 the monogram was added to the trunk for the first time by Gaston-Louis Vuitton, grandson of Louis Vuitton. 1906 was also the first time the trunk was designed with their signature brass corners with a patent lock added for security.

Louis Vuitton

Part 2-Wood

Woodwork was Louis’s first craftsmanship. As a young boy who grew up near a forest wood was always influential for him. As a box maker he also worked with wood, so it was second nature for Louis to create his own trunks out of wood. In particular he used camphor wood to detour pests, poplar wood for the frame and beech wood for reinforcement. Lastly he would use rosewood for its aromatic scent.

 

Louis Vuitton

Left: Interior luggage labels of the 1800’s.
Top Right: Advertising card of 1885.
Bottom Right: Mailing envelope for the LV stores of Paris and London 1890.

Louis Vuitton

 

Part 3-Classic Trunks

The linage of trunks begins with the Trainon Grey in 1854. The Striped Canvas trunk came next in 1872 which came in the colors red, brown and later in the combination of beige and brown. 1888 introduced the Damier canvas trunk and soon the flat trunk was invented. The house continued to build their reputation for trunks and cemented their reliability with the Ideale trunk, with the purpose of keeping items safe  during travel.

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Part 4-The Invention of Travel

Louis Vuitton was the luggage of choice for explorer and engineer André-Gustave Citroën during the excursions of the 1924 and 1925. The House of Louis Vuitton created particular trunks that could withstand the hot climate, different types of transportation and accommodate the portable comforts needed for explorers like Citroën.

 

During the rise of yachting the house of Louis Vuitton created the Steamer Bag, which modernized the hand luggage spectrum. The bag had the ability to be folded into any wardrobe trunk compartment. The bags weight, size and ease is considered to be the blueprint for the modern day gym bag.

Steamer Trunk on the right.

 

 

During the automobile rise the Vuittonite or Monogram canvas wardrobe and hat trunks were the some of Louis Vuitton’s most popular trunks. Picnic trunks, coolers and flat Morocco leather bag, the precursor to the handbag were in high demand as well.

 

Chauffeur’s Kit in Vuittonite Canvas 1910

 

 

 

The invention of airplanes led the house of Louis Vuitton to meet the needs of aviators and travelers alike. The Aero trunk, the grandfather of the carry-on luggage was the answer for people needing compact and lightweight luggage.

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Advancements in train travel gave the house the chance to create the Cabin trunk. This new trunk could fit under seats, while other bags such as garment and overnight bags also became in demand models.

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Part 5-Writing

Gaston-Louis Vuitton was an appreciator of writing and books. He himself was an author so its no wonder that the house of Louis Vuitton created mobile offices and various trunks that suited traveling writers.

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The Louis Vuitton Volez, Voguez, Voyagez exhibition will be open until January 7, 2018 on 86 Trinity Place in the financial district. I will have a follow up post covering rooms 6-10 soon. Have you seen the exhibition or are you looking forward to seeing it? Let me know your comments and thoughts here and on social media!

T.S.

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion exhibit The Museum at FIT Uncategorized

The Museum at FIT’s Exhibition’s Expedition: Fashion From the Extreme( Safari, Mountaineering, Space and Sea)

Museum at FIT

This is a continuation post on the current exhibition at the Museum at FIT. Read my previous post on the Arctic part of the exhibit here. This part will cover the Safari, Space and Ocean sections of the exhibition. As you walk from each section your are transported into different exploration settings. By far my favorite setting is that of the Space collection which included a futuristic spaceship inspired installation. Although choosing my favorite fashion piece would be much more difficult for me.

 

Safari

Fashion specific for expeditions came from the safari treks explorers made and their need for durable clothing. During the 19th century the wealthy took trips to Africa and returned home influenced by what they had discovered. While the world of explorations was growing so was fashion with the rise of retail in cities like New York and London. Retailers such as Abercrombie and Fitch were transcending the Khaki uniform of the safari into everyday wear for Americans.

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Mountanieering

Short semi-fitted down-filled coats were invented in the 1930’s, but were reintroduced by Mount Everest mountaineers Tensing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary on 1953. While military inspired jackets came thanks to the Korean war and the M-8 and M-51 jackets worn by the military. By the 1970’s down-filled jackets were being created by both fast fashion brands and higher end houses.

 

Space

Expeditions to the moon and space age discoveries inspired designers during the 1960’s. Parisian designers André Courreges, Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin lead the way in bringing the youth quake fashions of London and New York to Paris. Miniskirts, sleek pantsuits, metallic and plastic fabrics were some of the major trends of this movement. Combining the craftwork of couture and youthful modernity made these designers the pioneers for trendy Parisian fashion.

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Sea

By the 1950’s deep sea divers were wearing light weight scuba suits. As opposed to the heavier helmet and suit of the past, which were only worn by explorers. The lighter suit encouraged the public to explore the underwater world. By the 1960’s famed editor Diana Veerland directed Vogue magazine to shoot models in wetsuits, mask, google, and flippers. Other magazines followed suit expanding on the trend. By the 1980’s the scuba material neoprene was being used by fashion designers in both couture and ready to wear.

Now you know who you can thank for the everyday puffers and stretchy neoprene pants! The Exhibition Expedition Fashion From the Extreme is on display at the Museum at FIT until January 6th.

T.S.

fashion Fashion exhibit Jewlery The Museum at FIT Uncategorized

The Museum at FIT’S Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme (Arctic)

Museum at FIT

Currently on display at The Museum of FIT is the exhibition Expedition: Fashion From the Extreme. The exhibition explores how the discoveries during ocean, space and mountain expeditions influenced fashion. During the 17th century people began to explore the natural world and by the 19th century crucial parts of science such as biology were being discovered. Author of Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea and creator of science fiction, Jules Verne impacted society with his stories that were based on the latest discoveries. While Charles Darwin’s work was also impactful on the way society viewed the natural world. Science, new worlds discovered as well as indigenous people and their culture inspired western fashion for eternity.

 

Arctic: The very first extreme exploration took place during the 1880-1920’s with the Heroic Age of Arctic Exploration. Explorer Robert Leary returned in 1909 to America wearing fur originally worn by the indigenous Inuit people of the North Pole. By 1919 designers in New York showcased fashion influenced by Siberian objects in the American Museum of Natural History. WWII created a need for arctic inspired clothing for soldiers whose uniforms and parka’s were influenced by the Inuit people of the North Pole. Once the 1960’s arrived fashion publications such as Vogue sent models to the Arctic to (photo) shoot amongst the icebergs in the latest fashions. In the 1990’s the parka took on various forms during the eras hip-hop rise. Both designers, such as Tommy Hilfiger and rappers adopted the coat as a statement piece that eventually became an everyday coat. The exhibition showcases both indigenous Arctic fashions and modern-day Arctic inspired pieces.

I will have two other post on the Safari, Space and Deep Sea parts of the exhibition as well. Expedition: Fashion From the Extreme is open until January 6, 2018 at the Museum at FIT.

T.S.

fashion Fashion exhibit History Uncategorized

The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920’s

A few months ago I stopped by the Cooper Hewitt Museum to see the exhibition The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920’s. The 1920’s was a time period in which fashion and NYC were on the rise and full of changes. Many of the buildings that make up the famous NYC skyline today were built during the 1920’s. While speakeasies (hidden bars, some which still exist) held raving parties full of dancing flappers, the name given to the fashionable, newly liberated women of the time who received their voter rights in 1920. European art influenced America, while the American rising skyscraper awed Europe. Europe and America continued to influence one another through music, film, textiles and more. It’s always been one of my favorite eras in history, particularly for the fashion of course. So although the exhibition showcases over 100 pieces of  architecture, furniture, art and more today I’m going to focus on fashion.

I had never been inside the Cooper Hewitt, although I’ve walked by it a few times. If you’ve ever walked the upper east side you will know that Fifth Avenue is full of beautiful original impressive mansions. The Andrew Carnegie mansion that houses the museum is certainly one of them. From the outside alone you can tell it is going to be gorgeous inside. And it did not disappoint, as I stepped inside chandeliers and marble flooring led the way. All the rooms are complete with intricate moldings framing the doors. Although my absolute favorite part of the house turned museum was the grand wooden staircase. Another chandelier lit the path as I ascended the stairs to the second floor where the exhibition began.

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To my surprise the Cooper Hewitt is a conceptually modern museum inside this very original house. The Smithsonian design museum pushes contemporary artists and technology into the art world. Like every visitor when I arrived I was given The Cooper Hewitt Pen. This stylis looking instrument allows you to engage with the artifacts when pressing the pen onto a plus sign next to each artifacts description. Those descriptions and pictures are saved to the online profile created for you when you first bought your ticket. The museum also has giant touch screen tables that allow you to look up all the artifacts and info saved to your pen. These tables are also virtual design labs where you can create furniture, clothes, home goods and more and save them to your profile.

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Transatlantic Fashion

Paris and its artistic movement during the1920’s influenced fashion in America. New artistic styles including cubism influenced media and society. During the 20’s and 30’s one of the most important designers was Mariano Fortuny. He created the Delphos style dress in 1907.This dress consisted of folds that held their shape when a person wore it. The style became a popular  trend for the time period and was often imitated. The green dress with jacket in the slide show was sold by Interior designer Elsie McNeil who received exclusive right from Fortuny to sell his work.

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Fashion For Leisure

Before the 1920’s people were accustomed to wearing swimsuits and leisurewear that covered the arms and legs. In the 1920’s leisure wear consisted of clothing that made the arms and legs visible with thinner straps and shorter hemlines. The style was introduced on the beaches in the South of France. Also introduced for the first time was  men and women lounging at the beach in these risqué new styles together. Americans that vacationed in France brought the trends of the new swimwear and commingling beach time to the U.S.

art deco fashion

Woman’s striped bathing suit. The form fitting bathing suit was a new trend. Many swimsuits of the time were scooped necks with bright colors such as this one. The design was known as the “California-style suit”.

 

Jazz Age:

Creating fashions for nightlife became important for in the 1920’s. French and American designers were inspired by the ruin findings in Asia, Egypt, Russia and Latin America. Tassels became a big trend appearing on jewelry, clothing and accessories. Use of the color blue also became popular in fashion .

1920's fashion jazz age

Evening Dress and Underslip1925. Chanel in “Chanel Blue”

In an upcoming post I will cover more of what was showcased. Unfortunately this exhibition is no longer showing but you can learn more about it  here.  I hope you learn a bit about the Jazz Age and is flapper fashion.

T.S.

fashion Fashion exhibit History The Museum at FIT Uncategorized

The Museum at FIT’s Force of Nature

Mueum at FIT

Currently on display at the Museum of FIT is the exhibition “Force of Nature”. It explores the inspiration nature and science lends to fashion designers. The animals, weather, plants and foreign landscapes that were discovered in the 18th and 19th centuries inspired not only the scientists and writers of the day but the designers as well. Some designers took literal interpretations of nature while others simply referenced it. It also takes a look at how the fashion industry has made and is making changes that respect the environment.

Through the collection of garments, textiles, accessories and prints viewers can see how men and women’s fashion was and is inspired by nature. During the time of Enlightenment there was a surge of botanic gardens in society. This inspired designers to create textiles and fashions inspired by flowers. While the discovery of different animals also changed the way people used prints. In the wild animals use their spots to camofloufge themselves but designers use them in bold designs.

Animals like caterpillars and butterflies that have the ability of transformation which also inspire designers. Fashions that transformed women into flower or bird like forms are the result. The theory of attraction in the wild also stirred up new ideas for creators of the arts.

The Network of Nature

Naturalist and father of ecology Alexander von Humboldt realized how nature was intertwined with society. He also believed that an artists interpretation of nature was paramount in understanding it. Forms of diversity and creativity were created and inspired because of nature.

Museum at FIT

Dress: Circa 1888, Mrs. M.A. O’Connell. During this time period Ferns were a popular plant. Being so the collection of ferns as a hobby and clothing with fern prints like this dress were very popular.
The mens vest consist of a print of coiled Ferns. Waistcoat circa 1870.

Museum at FIT

Robe a la francaise 1760-1175. This print consists of bouquets of carnations and peonies. While the fringe detail resemble flower buds. These French robes were known for their floral textiles. They became metaphors for women as flowers.

Museum at FIT

Alexander McQueen, Evening Dress from the Irere Collection 2003. Birds and their symbolism of transformation were inspiring for McQueen. For this dress the colorful Scarlet Macaw and its feathers are what inspired him.

Museum at FIT

Early 1960’s, Milliner unknown.
The hat is created with flexible feathers. Inspired by exotic birds.

Museum at. FIT

Arzu Kaprol Evening ensemble Fall 2014. The graphic print of charges of electricity and the sculptural form of the gown and jacket all invoke power and strength. Inspired by the power of a lightning storm.

 

The Botanic Garden

Enlightenment and the discovery of exotic plants in foreign lands introduced the creation of the botanic garden in Europe. The public became fascinated with the new plant life and were curious to learn more. The botanic garden was a place were all social classes could view these new discoveries. By the 19th century these gardens became known as laboratories for scientific discoveries as well as beautiful gardens.

FIT Museum

Dress 1830-1833. This dress translates the connection the public made with women as flowers. The theme of romanticism and flower metaphors were trending topics in 19th century literature.

Mueum at FIT

Bonnet 1845, USA
The flowers are purposefully placed around the wearers face. Creating the feeling of being surrounded by nature.

Museum at FIT

Circa 1790 Mens Jacket and Waistcoat. The floral embroidery is meant to invoke the sensual spirit of reproduction in plants. Inspired by the Poem “The Love of Plants” (1789).
Circa 1775 Women’s Robe a l’anglaise wool and linen dress with silk embroidery. Fabric designer Anna Maria Garthwaite was inspired by plants and was considered just as educated in natural sciences as her male counterparts.

 

Investigating Nature

The discovery and study of nature was intensive for people of the Victorian era. The use of cataloging and the organization of all findings was important. With the invention of the microscope naturalists like Ernst Haeckel and scientists educated and influenced the public and arts. Haeckel, also an artists created prints and art inspired by his discoveries.

Museum at FIT

Left Bill Blass 1975. Inspired by the symmetry in plants like flowers.
Oscar de la Renta 1992. Inspired by coral reefs.
ThreeASFOUR :Dress 2016. Inspired by fractual patterns in nature.

Museum at FIT

Left: Jeanne Lanvin Evening Dress circa 1930. The scalloped overlays resemble fish scales. Asian culture like the Arowana fish inspired Lanvin.
Right: Christian Dior Spring 1954. This dress is inspired by the symmetry of organisms.

 

The Aviary

Birds symbolize transformation, freedom, honor and grace amoung other things. Throughout history they were used in art, literature and folklore in many cultures. While their feathers were seen as mysterious for people of the past, they are inspirational for today’s designers.

Museum at FIT

Alexander McQueen 2009
Horn of Plenty Collection. The pattern resembles feathers, while the bustle a tail.

Museum at FIT

Cape and hair comb 1960’s courtesy of Photographer Bill Cunningham.
Balenciaga evening dress 1967. Balenciaga minimalist style of the time is evident in the form of the dress while the ostrich feathers create an abstract element.

Museum at FIT

Gabrielle Chanel (Chanel) 1927 evening cape. Although feathers were already being used in extravagant forms such as hats, Chanel chose to remain more subdued with this cape of silk made feathers.

 

Metamorphosis

The discovery that caterpillars turned into butterflies was in 1830’s Chile by German naturalist Renous. Because he did not get a chance to unveil his findings he was arrested because people did not believe him. The butterflies were not seen as a natural transformation but a trick. The act of transformation and the ability of fashion to transform a person has inspired designers.

Museum at FIT

Left :Elsa Schiaparelli 1937
Butterflies were a surrealist symbol for deaths and transformation. As a surrealist designer Schiaparelli used metamorphosis to translate beauty emerging from the ordinary.
Right: Thierry Muglerr : Evening dress 1989. Mugler known as the “master of metamorphosis” created his 1989 collection based on the city of Atlantis and mermaids.

Museum at FIT

Charles James “La Sirene” evening dress 1940. Known as the Lobster dress the tucks and folds resemble a spine like that of a lobster.

 

 

 

 

Into the Wild

The patterns that camouflage animals in the wild for their self preservation inspire designers to create bold prints that attract the eye. The exotic and at times sensual appeal of animal patterns come from ancient folklore.

museum at FIT

Rudi Gernreich 1966. These patterned outfits were meant to be like second skins. The complete transformation included gloves, underwear, hoods and shoes.

Museum at FIT

 

 

 

Physical Forces

The study of nature and energy both in small particles and entire galaxies known as physics has inspired society and the arts. These studies lead to the creation of meteorology, astronomy, electromagnetism and many other fields of scientific study.

Museum at FIT

Left: Yvonne May Evening Coat circa 1920. The inspiration for his coat was comets. The sparkle adds to the look of movement.
Right: Saks Fifth Ave cocktail dress 1953. The rhinestones on the dress imitate a galaxy of stars.
Behind: Rodler upholstery fabric 1928. This fabric used for the seats on an airplane showcases the theory of the Big Bang.

 

Fashioning a Future

In the past fashion was created with little to no knowledge or realization on how it was affecting nature. However over the years designers and fashion companies have begun to create sustainable fashion. Kering the parent company of the brands Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Puma and more has made it their mission to reduce the environmental impact their brands have. With guidance from the UN Sustainable Development Goals Kering has created reachable targets of positive global environmental and social impacts by 2025. With their three strategies of Care, Collaborate and Create these brands can change the way fashion is created. Among other streams of creativity and science these brands can care for the planet through cleaner supply chains. They can collaborate with craftsmen and leading universities that identify sustainable solutions. Lastly they can create using innovative technology like biotech.

Museum at FIT

Speedo Fastskin II 2011. This suit mimics sharkskin to increase speed in the water. The ridges in the suit imitate sharks dermal denials.
The Last Explorer: Black Magic suit. The suits waterproof technology allows water to roll off the material like a ducks feathers.
Bolt threads necktie 2017. Made of synthetic spider silk, the first of its kind ever created. The first one created was given to Spider-Man creator Stan Lee.

Museum at FIT

Stella McCartney dress Resort 2017. Made of sustainable viscose.
J-Crew t-shirt, 2017. This shirt was created to raise awareness on the diminishing population of bees. Part of sales went to the Xerces Society an invertebrate conservation system.

 

 

 

The Science of Attraction

In 1859 Charles Darwin published “On the Origin of Species”. This controversial theory of evolution and his later work ” The Descent of Man” which focused on sexual selection and beauty influenced the arts. In the end one of his conclusions was that both animals and humans loved beauty.

Museum at FIT

Right:Mme. Pauline Hat circa 1955. This Women’s hat is created with male bird feathers.
Left: Commes des Garcons 1985. The hat is inspired by a nest created by weaver birds. These birds construct elaborate nests to attract female mates.

Museum at FIT

Hat 1939.
Halston Ensemble 1965.
Inspired by the Scarlet Tanager bird whose red communicates sexual desire to the female bird.

Museum at FIT

Helene hat circa 1953 feathers and wool. This hat was inspired by Peacocks. Female Peacocks select males based on their feathers and usually pick mates with the most amount of feathers.

 

The Language of Flowers

During the 19th century books were published that explored the “language of flowers”. They surmised that specific species and colors held symbolic meanings. This influenced the exchange of different colored bouquets as coded meanings to and from lovers and couples. As a reproductive organ flowers also represented human sexuality.

Mueseum at FIT

Dress circa 1905- France.
Hand colored Irises were applied to the cut-work of the dress. Irises were a popular design in the Art Nouveau time period.

Mueum at FIT

Charles James : “The Tree” evening dress, 1955. With “The Petal” evening stole.
The petal like stole is meant to transform the wearer into a flower. Charles often thought of his clients as sensual flowers and believed fashion should evoke that emotion.

It was interesting to learn about all ways in which nature and science have influenced fashion. As we look at today’s fashion we don’t realize how influential nature has been. This exhibition is a great reminder of how much nature has and continues to inspire us. Stay tuned to my Instagram for more pictures throughout the week. Force of Nature is on display at the Museum at FIT through November 18th.

T.S.

Accessories art Beauty fashion Fashion exhibit Jewlery shoes The Museum at FIT

FIT’s School of Art and Design Graduating Exhibition

FIT Museum

Recently on display at the Museum at FIT was the work and thesis projects of the graduating class of 2017. Many know FIT is a prestigious school for fashion, but it also teaches many of the arts. The exhibition showcased students work from all sixteen major areas of study. The exhibition was showcased in various areas of the museum and the school itself.

Accessories Design

For their final steps to achieving their degree’s students were instructed to create a collection around the concept of  ” Design Perspective”. Each took on a different interpretation to create their collections. Students used research on consumers, seasons, and inspirations to bring them to life. They created pieces belonging to either footwear, handbags, millinery (hats), or art. Every piece exhibited was judged and selected by FIT staff and fashion industry critics.

 

FIt Museum Museum at FIT Mujseum at FIT

 

Advertising Design

The students of advertising design were to creating content that reaches today’s public. Not only do these final projects advertise a product , they become one with the consumer. The students created experiences, much like we are used to today. To bring out an emotion or thought, not simply an agreement to buy. The advertisements  reflect much of what is currently happening and resonates with exhibition viewers.

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Computer Animation and Interactive Media

Graduates from the computer animation and interactive media program also focused on engaging with the viewer. They created apps, games,  environments and more that integrated their knowledge of technology design. This particular class used many personal experiences and social causes in their work. Race, sexuality, religion and how they felt about these topics came across in these pieces.

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Fabric Styling

The class in fabric styling forecasted the color story of Summer/ Spring 2018. Through market research, trend forecasting and four colors they showcased the latest in women’s wear and home décor. Much of the public does not realize how ahead of time forecasters like these students are. Their work is continually a year ahead of its time.

Fashion Design

Fashion Design students used their expertise with fashion design art, CAD, journaling, and art portfolio to create their final designs. Their work was critiqued and selected by industry critics, guest designers and professors who mentored these students. On the judging day the selecteded looks were included in the BFA Future of Fashion runway show. Once the looks were selected the students work with experienced models for their final fittings. Students in the individual categories of Children’s Wear, Intimate Apparel, Knitwear, Special Occasion and Sportswear showcased their looks in the fashion show. Through these steps the students’ personal take on fashion design evolved and prepared them for their careers.

FIT Museum Museum at FIT Museum at FIT

 

Fine Arts

Fine Arts graduates were tasked with answering the question “How does a young artist create work that is relevant in our  contemporary culture?” Their work answered this question by adding their personal experience’s and identity to demonstrate advertising, consumerism, environmental issues, and social media. The proximity to multiple museums in NYC helped them cultivate their thoughts and creative process. They are now able to create fine art relevant to the ever changing society.

 

Museum at FIT

 

Graphic Design

Graphic design students were to write their thesis exploring the past, present and future on the topic they chose. Through the use of graphic media the students expressed their thoughts. With the images and words they selected they offered a fresh perspective on what’s occurring in today’s society. All the work displayed was critiqued by professionals in graphic design.

Musuem at FIT Museum at FIT Museum at FIt

Illustration

Students of the illustration program used their traditional and digital art media experience to creatively problem solve. The issue being how to create images for commercial distribution that targets specific audiences. Through their personal style, technique, expression and body of work cultivated at FIT they were able to solve the issue.

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Interior Design

The class of interior design took their education in problem solving, space planning  and research to create their own perspectives. Their perspectives and the issues of sustainability, culture and constructions helped them create their thesis. The objective was to create interiors that looked great and spoke to the viewers. Unlike other students Interior design students created their final projects with aesthetic, functional and program constraints. To work around these limitations they used materials, colors and furnishings to create their interior design stories.

Museuma at FIT museum at FIT

Jewelry Design

Jewelry Design graduates created jewelry with design, craft, economics and ethics in mind. They also thought of sustainability and social responsibility when creating their pieces. They used both modern and ancient techniques to create their jewelry. Their work is to be viewed as both jewelry and individual works of art.

Musuem at FIT Museum at FIT

 

 

Menswear

The menswear graduating class created their final thesis much like a tailor makes suits.  They showcased their designs in their portfolios to their class during a presentation. Next they created their muslin, a plain white fabric designers use to create the base of their designs. Once their muslins were criticized and reworked they began the final process. Finished fabrics and tailoring techniques were then used to create their final menswear pieces. Finally their work was critiqued by well known menswear designers and put on display. Past graduating classes have been critiqued by John Varvatos, Italo Zucchelli for Calvin Klein and John Bartlett.

 

 

Packing Design

The students of the packing design program worked to advance the principals wing branding and packing design. They used innovative techniques to reach the consumers of food, beverage and home products. They also created designs to speak to packing designs to reach the consumers of beauty, personal care and technology products. They were tasked to create the designs within the constraints of conceptual development, graphic execution, production and compliance requirements.  They also took into account marketing and what would be their competition.

Museum at FIT Museum at FIT

Photography

Students of the graduating photography class expressed political views, fashion trends, and emotions. They also used documentary photography and  their personal experiences with family and their childhood to inspire their final captures.Their photography much like those of regarded professional photographers have the ability to impact the societal culture of the present and future.

FIT museum

Textile/Surface Design

Textile/Surface Design students created textiles of painted, woven, and screen printed techniques. They implemented classical forms of textile creation with innovative new technologies. They created their own aesthetics within the requirements of the textile industry. Their final pieces showcase the students ability to create new textiles that are creative, full of required techniques and its ability to be  marketable.

Museumat FIT Museum at FIT Mueseum at FIT

Toy Design

The class of Toy Design uses imagination to help develop kids self -image. Students created toys that help create a healthy lifestyle of play. Their toys also challenge critical thinking in the child who plays with them. Students incorporated community issues, culture, nature into their interactive children’s games. The toys ranged from stuffed animals, board games, digital worlds and more.

Muesuma t FIt Museum at FIt

 

Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design

The Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design program focuses on the ability create environments that inspire, inform and persuade the viewer. Students created life size mock ups of events such as a retail space, display, museum exhibition, event or individual place. The students process included the design process and market analysis with the help of industry experts. Their designs were reviewed in an exhibition and finally developed digitally and physically.

Musuem at FIT Museum at FIT

 

 

It was immensely interesting to see what the future of the creative fields have in store. There is no shortage of creativity with students like these and the colleges that mold them into productive creators. As I walked through the exhibition I was not only learning about these creative majors but remembering my own time in college. There are more details and hours that go into the final product of a creative industry than consumers and viewers realize.

T.S.

art fashion Fashion exhibit History The Metropolitan Museum of Art Uncategorized

The Met’s: Rei Kawakubo of Commes des Garcons, Art of the In-Between

The Met Museum

Currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the “Art of the In-Between”. The exhibition is a look into creator of Commes des Garcons, Rei Kawakubo’s inspirations and work. Rei founded Commes des Garcons (French for “like some boys”) in 1969. Rei’s expression of fashion is one of disruption. Her designs are what we in the industry call Avant Garde. They are unconventional and challenges what society accepts as fashion.

1.Absence/Presence

Much of her work revolves around two notions, koan mu (emptiness) and ma (space). The exhibition explores nine translations of in-betweenness through Rei’s collections and explores the  emptiness in conventional clothing. The architectural displays and circular path that visitors walk through to view the exhibition are inspired “Mu” and “Ma” the Zen Buddhism symbolizim for emptiness and space. Ma also translates to void and volume. Ma is both something with and without shape, much like Rei’s voluminous designs.

The Met Museum The Met Museum

 

2.Design/ Not Design

Rei doesn’t have a formal design education, her self education allowed her to explore how to design unconventionally. Many times her inspiration comes from a word or abstract image. Many of her collections are inspired by fusion, imbalance, the unfinished, elimination and design without design. These templates for her work are also rooted in the Zen Buddhist principle wabi-sabi.

The Met Fashion musuemThe Met Museum

3.Fashion/ Antifashion

During the late 1970’s and early 80’s Rei moved away from her traditionally Japanese inspired collections. Her need to design something with strength led her to become a modern archetypal designer. Her goal was one of originality or ” newness” and has been what defines all of her collections. Fashion/ Antifashion showcases Rei’s early 80s collections. The color story of predominately  black expresses the thought of mu (emptiness) while the shapeless and oversized garments express ma (space).

 

4.Model/Multiple

Rei has also explored the contrast of original work and the replicas that are made. In Model/ Multiple Rei’s collection Abstract Excellence the pieces take on these differences. The repetition of clothes not only represents replicas but uniformity. Her pieces in this collection have very little differences.This showcases the rift between original art and designs and knockoffs. Many of these techniques have been used in the fashion industry and are being used today in fast fashion.

Met Museum fashion

5.High/Low

The collection “Motorbike Ballerina” expresses the ties between elitist and pop culture.  High society forms of dressing like a tutu and a low society form like a biker jacket are combined. Street style takes on high end fashion and the collection explores how society see’s both.

The MET MueseumFashion at the Met Museum

 

In the collection “Bad Taste” Rei explores what bad taste is. Style associated with punk which are made with cheaper fabrics like polyester are combined with high end tulle for tutus. Her goal was to shine a light on what upper society sees as good taste. While combining those exact forms of bad taste with what society might view as good taste.

 

The Met Museum

6.Then/Now

In the collections Modern Sweetness, Sweeter Than Sweet, Body Meets Dress-Dress Meets Body, Inside Decoration and White Drama Rei travels through both modern and historical fashion. As a designer her work has been constantly influenced by fashion history. It can be seen in these collections that consists of silhouettes that are from the 19th century.

The Met Museum The Met Museum

 

In her collections Broken Bride, White Drama and Ceremony Rei explores the movement of time through life experiences. Birth, marriage and death are expressed through what Rei and much of society think about these time periods. The traditions we believe in during these periods of living are expressed both in ways we recognize and don’t.

7.Self/Other

Self/ Other explores what fashion looks like when boundaries are crossed. This part of the exhibition showcases how Rei’s work blurs the lines between East/ West, Male/ Female and Child/ Adult. East and West displays what eastern and western cultures clash in fashion. Male/ Female fuses what we typically recocnize as male attire with womenswear. While Child/ Adult focuses on what age appropriate dressing while using the Japanese cultural aspects of Kawaii (cuteness). A form of dressing made popular by the Japanese youth who use playful aspects in their dressing.

The Met Museum The Met Museum

8.Object/Subject

Object/ Subject focuses on the form of our bodies and drasticly changing the way it looks and how we think about it. In this part of the exhibition the collection Body Meets Dress- Dress- Meets Body challenges that notion. The looks include extreme padding challenging what society thinks is a beautiful body. These deformed looks contrast with the traditional cuts of fabric and prints of gingham.  The line between  dress or the object and subject the body are blurred.

Met Museum

9.Clothes/ Not Clothes

Once again Rei felt the need for reinvention and in 2014 left behind the the notion of newness in presute of making “objects for bodies’.  In the ninth installation the collection is broken down in to nine categories. In Clothes/ Not Clothes Rei introduced forms that have never been introduced to fashion. The collection is a constant rif on what can be worn and what is simply expressional pieces. They have similarities but also have considerable differences.

The Met Museum

9.1  Form/Function

Form/ Function features the collection Not Making Clothing. Continuing her search of objects for the body she created the piece as if she were not a designer. The pieces are structured, three dimensional and don’t form to the body naturally. The cuts and forms are similar to a dolls whose clothing is too big. The pieces seem cut and pasted together and don’t look as if they should go together. (Picture above)

 

9.2  Abstraction/ Representation

The collection “invisible clothes” in 9.2 challenges the thought of the body being dominate over clothing. Recognizable forms of clothes like an arm are obscured through the voluminus shapes. In doing so body and the form of the dress become one. There is not a clarity of what is body and what is dress. The goal is to see clothes not as clothes but as a form of the body.

The Met MuseumThye Met Museum

 

 

9.3 Beautiful/Grostesque

In Beautiful/ Grotesque Rei’s collections ” Holes” and ” Monster”showcase how Rei’s 1980’s collections were criticized by Western society as grotesque. Although to Rei they were simply different forms of beauty. The collection “Monster” delves into humanity, fear and going beyond what we see as common sense. Rei once again goes against ordinary fashion by creating pieces that are big and can be perceived as both beautiful and ugly. The knots and twist of the garments are meant to expand what people see as beauty.

The Met Museum

 

 

9.4 War/Peace

War/ Peace showcases the collections ” Flowering Clothes” and “Blood and Roses”. These collections are Rei’s response to the unjust events in society. Her reactions to what is happening around us is never literal, but symbolic. Her reactions and knowledge of history inspired her to create these collections. Throughout history the symbol of the rose has been used to represent both good and bad. ” Flowering Clothes” focuses on the positive connotations associated with roses. The pieces are inspired by the strength, happiness and positivity of a rose. “Blood and Roses” focuses on the dark significance a rose can have. It’s inspired by the historical use of a rose in war, political and religious clashes. In “Blood and Roses” Rei used both expressional and literal expressions of the topic with the color of bold red.

The Met Museum

9.5 Life/Loss

When one looks at Rei’s clothes they must understand that she is not an intellectual designer but an emotional one. Her own feelings inspire the collections, even those of fear and doubt. Her collections are a look into her intense emotions and spirituality. Life/Loss expands on the collection in Then/ Now with theme of transition. In Life/ Loss the concepts of the memory of a subject and memorialization of something are explored.

The Met Museum

Life/ Loss presents the collection ” Ceremony of Separation” which brings to the forefront the feelings of pain of losing someone and the beautiful ceremonies we put on to say good bye. The dresses in this collection are translations of traditional mourning dresses. The clothes are sad but extravagant with delicate lace representing how fragile life is. This collection is similar to her earlier collection “Square” where the clothes are made of one square of fabric and express the ritual of pilgrimage. The “Square” and “Ceremony of Separation” collections both explore the traditional outlets of expression during these points in life.

9.6 Fact/Fiction

Fact/ Fiction demonstrates Rei’s expressions through storytelling. The collections ” Blue Witch”, “Lilith”, “Dark Romance”and “Witch”. The collections are filled with strong silhouettes and mix menswear with womenswear.  Although the traditional forms in menswear are distorted. In all three collections menswear  becomes a feminine piece like a skirt.  The collections are pieces of dismantled and distorted, mashed together women and men’s wear. They are also expressions of  the fictional topics, witches and  storybooks.

The Met Museum

9.7 Order/Chaos

When Rei formed “Comme des Garcons” her goals were “newness” and independence. She pursued independence of conventional subjects and expression. This search lead her to appreciate street style and the punk culture. Both going against the grain of tradition and what society thinks is fashion. In “Order/ Chaos” combines history and the theme of transition. The collection “18th- Century Punk” uses the traditional silhouettes of the 1700’s combined with 1970’s punk aesthetics. The pieced together collection recalls the collection “Adult Delinquent” which was also inspired by the punk movement.

The Met Museum

 

9.8  Bound/ Unbound

In Bound/ Unbound the collection “The Future of the Silhouette” made not of clothes necessarily  but of objects for the body is on display. Here fabric is replaced by synthetic wadding  that is constructed around the body. They take inspiration from the collection used in Then/ Now without the historical references. The pieces are distorted hourglass forms that become parts of the body like that of the Body Meets Dress- Dress Meets Body collection. The pieces are binding to the body without arm holes, pressing against the notion of what accepted beauty is. The goal is not to give a body purpose, place or period in which to be but to simply exist between these aspects of life.

The Met Museum

 

Rei’s work will not instantly make you think of fashion, but of expressionism. Once you are able to understand what she is expressing , you will be able to understand and see the fashion in it. Much of it is not meant to be worn but translate and affect how society thinks and feels about what’s acceptable in fashion and beauty. It is a story of the “art of the in-between.”

The exhibition Rei Kawakubo: Commes des Garcons/ Art of the In- Between is on display at the Met until September 4th. I enjoyed learning more about this fascinating designer and hope you do to. Her take on fashion and its emotional connections are what I relate to most. Let me know if you visit the exhibition and what your thoughts are. Pay attention to my Instagram for more pictures throughout the week.

T.S.

art fashion Fashion exhibit History Lifestyle The Museum at FIT Uncategorized

The Museum at FIT’s Adrian: Hollywood And Beyond

Last month at the Museum at FIT along with the two other exhibitions I covered, Adrian : Hollywood and Beyond was on display. Known originally for his costume creations  at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer,  Gilbert Adrian went on to create his own fashion line. During his career as a costume designer he created costumes for over 250 films, dressing stars like Katharine Hepburn and Joan Crawford. Many of the films were blockbusters whose costumes inspired ready to wear designs. Stores like Macy’s  opened “cinema shops” that showcased outfits inspired by these costumes. Throughout the exhibition you see the respect Adrian had for the art of fashion, fabric and all the details needed to create memorable pieces.  The relationships he had with textile manufacturers allowed him to create some of his most “awed at” pieces. A glossary guide provided by the museum helped all who saw the exhibition  understand the intricate techniques Adrian used in his costumes and fashion line. If you are an retro movie lover like I am, you will recognize some of the costumes and movies as well.

When Adrian opened his first fashion boutique in 1942 in Beverley Hills his clients were not movie stars, but the everyday American woman. Adrian’s time as a costume designer led him to understand prints and how to cut and sew them to their full potential. For the movie the Wizard of OZ his understanding of patterns and how they stood out on a black and white film led him to make memorable costumes. Dorothy was purposefully outfitted in the blue and white gingham (check) dress that popped in the black and white film and in Technicolor.

Gilbert Adrian

Applique’: A new design created when a small piece of fabric or contrasting material is applied to the original fabric. Cuts are attached through stitching the edges to the original fabric.

fashion

In this gown Adrian allowed the print to be the focal point. He used Draping and Applique to create the shoulders shadow effect.

fashion at the museum at FIT

Adrian used draping for the back of this dress.

Fashion at the Muesum at FIT

Adrian original evening dress 1947. Print designed by Salvador Dali for Wesley Simpson, Inc. Textile by American Enka Corporation.

 

 

Bias: When fabric is cut on a bias or at a 45 degree angle instead of the straight (Parallel)or cross-grain (perpendicular) the fabric has more elasticity. This elasticity allows the fabric to drape easier.

HOLLYWOOD FASHION

Adrian Original wool suit jacket 1950. In this jacket Adrian used inset strips of bias cut fabric. This intricately sewn garment includes pockets constructed of six separate pieces.

 

 

Design Repeat: An aspect of all patterned fabrics. Design repeat refers to the distance between where the pattern starts, repeats and begin again. Sometimes hard to distinguish in certain patterns.

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1944 Time and Country ad. Adrian collaborated with Bianchini- Ferrier a French textile mill in NYC. Adrian not only created the dress but helped create the design repeat print on the dress.

museum at FIT

An example of a collaboration and print Adrian used.
Bianchini-Ferier, Inc Warp-Printed silk taffeta, circa 1949 and printed rayon circa 1949.

Adrian fashion

On the right you see that Adrian chose the print in silk taffeta to make an evening gown that was featured in Vogue 1949.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Draping: A form of constructing garments. Fabric is placed directly on the form or model, the designer then begins folding and pinning parts of the fabric to create the desired form. The fabric can be removed to create a pattern of the draped fabric or left draped as the final result.

fashion

Adrian Custom couture evening dress silk jersey 1942. Adrian used silk jersey in both his costumes and fashion line. For this dress he draped a single width of jersey on the bias. The bias created the front drape while the rest of the fabric falls over the shoulder.

For this costume worn in the 1952 movie “Lovely to Look At” Adrian manipulated the silk jersey. The pleating he created allowed the textile to stretch and create a hood and sleeves.

 

 

Inset: A design similar to applique’. A small shape is cut out of a larger piece of fabric, where another textile is cut and sewn into the cutout, filling that space. The purpose of the inset can be functional or decorative. The inset can help with fit or create an interesting pattern. The inset can be the same pattern as the base fabric or entirely different.

HOLLYWOOD FASHION

Adrian Original wool suit jacket 1950. In this jacket Adrian used inset strips of bias cut fabric. This intricately sewn garment includes pockets constructed of six separate pieces. The insets include the strips on the upper chest bodice and pockets.

Mitering: When two pieces are gathered diagonally, preferably at a corner. This manipulation of the fabric allows crisp corners in garments. Mitering is also used to create dramatic prints.

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Adrian original Day Dress 1943. The mitered stripes create a chevron pattern. Adrian’s construction narrows at the waist and widens at the shoulders. This was the trend of the moment.

 

Fashion

 

Piecing: Much like solving a puzzle, in piecing different shaped pieces of fabric are sewn together forming one fabric. It involves measuring and cutting each piece of fabric so they fit perfectly into each other.

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Piecing: Adrian Original Rayon Crepe 1945

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For this three piece ensemble Adrian pieced together shapes like a puzzle to create the illusion of a print. Many of these creations were inspired by art work by Picasso and were named after artists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screenprinting: A technique that creates prints on fabric. This multistep process includes covering and protecting the parts of fabric not meant to receive the print. Then a mesh screen is placed on top of the fabric and the first color is applied. The colored ink is pushed through the screen onto the fabric. The fabric is dried and the process is repeated until the final print desired is created.

Adrian Original Two Piece evening ensemble 1944. This print distracts from the couture techniques. Adrian manipulated the fabric.

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Adrian Original Printed Rayon crepe circa 1947. Adrian added dramatic swags at the sleeves and skirts. The print is of classic theater scenes.

Screenprint can also be seen in the evening dress above under the term applique’. The screenprint was designed by Salvador Dali for the Wesley Simpson, Inc.

 

Tailoring: A form of construction used to make suits and garments with structure. This technique is used to design suits and jackets. The designer uses a mannequin to pin, stitch , mark and trim fabric creating a template. The template is traced on paper creating the pattern needed to create a garment.

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Mittered Stripes

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Middle Ensemble: Adrian Original suit 1945. Textile by Pola Strout Wool circa 1945. This suit appeared in Vogue and was part of Woman’s everyday look. The stripes are mitered and the textile is pieced together.

Textile Converter:  Textile conversion companies create masters of textiles. The masters are suitable for weaving and printing at textile mills. The design masters are original creations or replicas of artists like Dali that are printed on plain unfinished fabric known as “griege”. The fabric can then be manipulated or altered in  any form a designer wishes.

Fashion at the Muesum at FIT

Adrian original evening dress 1947. Print designed by Salvador Dali for Wesley Simpson, Inca. Textile conversion by American Enka Corporation.

Textile Design: The image, color, texture or design that is on a textile. Textile designs are created through printing or weaving. Stripes, plaid and ikat are all forms of textile design. Textile design fabric can then be finished with dyeing, printing, embroidery, beading and applique’.

 

fashion at FIT

fashion

Adrian Original circa 1951. Adrian placed the fabric at right angles so that the stripes of the silk mousseline would be visible. The silk also adds volume, a trend of the 1950’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Textile Regulation: During WWII materials like fabric were needed for military  supplies. In 1942 the War Production Board imposed Regulation L-85. This imposed restrictions on the use of cotton, silk, nylon, wool, leather and rubber for anything other than parachutes, uniforms and other supplies. Designers also had restrictions on the amount of material they could use. To keep up with the newest trends, designers became resourceful through shortening lengths and narrowing cuts.

This print distracts from the couture techniques. Adrian manipulated the fabric. As the dress was made in 1944, it was during a time of textile regulation.

 

Adrian’s costume’s in the movies  1938 “Sweethearts” , 1939 “The Women”, and  1952 “Lovely to Look At”.

As I walked through this exhibition I felt like I was back in my textile class in college. One of my favorite classes, as the creating of fabric and what you can make with one length of it is endless. As Adrian showed in his costumes and collections, with respect and knowledge for fabric and its creators there are endless creative possibilities in fashion.

T.S.

art fashion Fashion exhibit History The Museum at FIT Uncategorized

The Museum at FIT’s Paris Refashioned 1957-1968

Paris Fashion

Paris the birth place of Haute Couture has given the fashion industry an endless amount of designers and fashion staples. During the 50’s and 60’s London was seen as the epicenter of all fashion innovation. However Paris Refashioned showcases how Paris was also a leader in trend making during this era. Like London the young people of Paris were infusing their music, art and outlook on life into fashion. Many of these innovations and new styles changed the course of fashion and are still worn today.

Patis Fashion

YSL Couture 1965. This famous “Mondrian Dress” became one of YSL’s most famous pieces. Inspired by the paintings of Piet Mondrian. Although YSL was not the first to introduce this style it was one of his most well known peices. Many believed YSL was inspired by the color-blocked dresses of designer Michele Rosier.

 

In the late 1950’s Parisian couturiers like Pierre Cardin, Hubert de Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent started to receive recognition for the radical and progressive designs they made under respected fashion houses. Yves Saint Laurent introduced the trapeze dress or the “A Line dress” under the House of Dior. A style that became so successful it cemented his place in the fashion industry. Not only was the dress a success for the House of Dior, it influenced the relaxed and younger trends that came after.

Paris Fashion

Yves Saint Laurent, Rive Gauche Line 1967. Ready-to-Wear pantsuit. It was modeled by supermodel Twiggy in Vogue. YSL loved dressing women in pants, as he believed they were no less feminine.

Paris Fashion

YSL Rive Gauche line. Ready-To-Wear raincoat fall 1966. The Rive Gauche line was YSL’s response to the Ready-To-Wear growth in Paris. This line was a fun and more affordable alternative to his Saint Laurent Couture.

Yves Saint Laurent Couture Coat 1966. Inspired by the 19th Century French uniform. The Spring 1962 collection that this coat is a part of introduced his Couture house to Paris.

Paris fashion

Pierre Cardin Couture coat circa 1958
After Christian Dior’s death Pierre Cardin was one of the contenders for taking over the House of Dior. Although that postion was filled by YSL, Cardin was known for giving edge to suits and coats like this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the 1960’s Cristobal Balenciaga’s understudy André Courre’ges  made drastic changes to what Couture could look like. He also changed the manner in which fashion shows were conducted. His 1964 ” Space Age” collection introduced futuristic day-wear in place of the traditional eveningwear couture collection. During the fashion show models quickly strut down the runway to upbeat music. A surprise for the audience who were used to a relaxed runway show where models strolled and stopped in intervals for viewing.

Paris Fashion

André Courreges. Couture dress 1968. A couture designer who knew how to combine ready to wear with couture this dress is both modern and classic. The use of vinyl, a material usually used by ready-to-wear designers is combined with classic chiffon in this dress.

The rise of ready-to-wear in the 50’s and 60’s by Parisian designers created an economic influx in the fashion industry. Their modern designs also attracted a larger clientele who wanted more options than what couture designers were providing.  These designers became known as “stylistes” and introduced  “ready-to wear” to French fashion and society. These designers also changed how ready-to-wear fashion was perceived. Off the rack fashion or “confections” were originally known for being poor in quality and design. The quality in which designers like Karl Lagerfeld and Sonia Rykiel produced their pret-a-porter lines rooted  ready-to-wear into a respected category in Parisian fashion.

Paris Fashion

Karl Lagerfeld for Chloe’. Ready-To-Wear 1967. This hand painted evening dress was part of Lagerfeld’s entry into Ready-to Wear and depart from Couture in 1964.

Paris fashion

Madame Gres Couture evening gown 1960. This A-line dress combines sculpture and the modern loose silhouette.

Paris fashion

Left: Sonia Rykiel Ready-to-wear polo dress 1966.
Right: Sonia Rykiel Ready-to-wear 1965. The cuffs on this dress are removable and inspired by menswear. This small detail allowed the wearer to change the look or easily wash the dress.

 

While some Couturiers embraced pret-a-porter others found if difficult to include a ready- to -wear line into their collections. Designers like Balenciaga, Madame Gres and Chanel did not switch to ready-to-wear but infused the new trends into their collections by hiring younger designers. While some couturier survived the shift in Parisian fashion some designers like Balenciaga were forced to shut their doors and reopen later on. The survival of Couture depended on the flexibility of the Couturiers.

French Fashion

Chanel Couture ensemble 1968. This collection was critiqued as not being “young enough”. Although others believed French women would love the collection simply because it was “Chanel”.

Paris fashion

Chanel Couture 1959.. This collection was her reentry into fashion after a retirement period. Her cuts remained classic and her connection with magazine editors allowed her collection to be showcased in magazines despite the classic style of the collection. Although the prints and colors were a bolder selection that her previous collection.

Paris Refashioned 1957-1968 will be open until April 15, 2017 at the Museum at FIT. Let me know if you visit this exhibition and what your thoughts are.

T.S.