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art Fashion exhibit The Metropolitan Museum of Art Travel

How to visit all three NYC Met Museums within 2-3 Days

the met

Last week I did something I do quite often, visit the Met Museum every year to view their largest Costume Institute exhibition. Before they open this exhibition the museum host the MET Gala. Yes that Gala in which you ask yourself why are these celebrities dressing up or dressing weirdly? I’ll break it down a bit for people who are not in the fashion, media, art..etc world. Every year the Metropolitan Museum of Art features a few exhibitions, and one very large one. Anna Wintour from Vogue, board members and the Met Museum decide on a theme or designer to focus on or honor with the exhibition. In the past they have focused on Asia and Asian inspired fashion with China Through the Looking Glass or one of their most visited exhibitions Savage Beauty on Alexander McQueen after his death.  To attend this event, celebrities have to be invited by Anna Wintour and the team, of which they decide who sits where and they also depict the dress code, usually in connection to the theme of the exhibition. This years exhibition Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, inspired many celebrities to dress in Pope like attire. Some celebrities embrace the theme while others don’t, I personally love those that do. In order to attend this gala, celebrities pay around $30,000 per ticket which benefits the Costume Institute. This year the exhibition spans two locations of the Met Museum. The largest part of the  exhibition taking place at The Met on 5th ave and the second at The Met Cloisters in upper Manhattan. I was determined to visit them both and because I thought The Met Bruer had part of the exhibition I ended up visiting all three within two days. How can you do this? I’ll give you my tips below.

 

There are a few ways you can accomplish this and I am going to suggest one way for New Yorkers and one way for tourists. I think of it this way because normally New Yorkers will know which subways to take and how to find these subways quickly. Where as if you are a visitor you will probably need some time to figure out which subway to take, where you have to catch it, where you have to get off and where to go once off etc. If you are savy with directions or have a great app to help you it can speed up the process. I just suggest taking this into consideration and the fact that NYC blocks are a mile long and you’ll be looking up at buildings and not walking as fast. Now if you feel you want to do this in a different manner, go right ahead but after some thought and doing this myself these are my suggestions. With one Met Museum ticket you can visit all three locations within three consecutive days, thanks to its ticket policy. One ticket gets you into all three! So this means you only have to pay to get into one museum no matter which, and transportation. Take advantage of this and make sure to KEEP THE RECEIPT as each museum will ask for the receipt when you mention this policy!

 

Tourist: Your first stop should be the Met Breuer, the smallest of the three. This museum holds modern art including Picasso’s. The museum is small with only a few floors, with one currently closed for construction. It also has many large sculptures as opposed to alot of paintings, which in my opinion made the process of reading about and viewing the piece faster. It only took me an hour an a half to complete the museum, but you might be going a bit slower than I did so I’d say give yourself 2-3 hours here. It probably won’t take you longer than that because like I said, its small. If your hungry check out the café which has a patio area on the basement level of the museum.

 

Your next stop should be the Met on Fifth. The Met on Fifth is only seven blocks away from the Met Breuer, save yourself money and walk there! If its good whether, you won’t regret it, as the architecture of the upper east side is beautiful and the townhouse lined streets are peaceful. I love walking to the Met because of this simple fact, its like getting a quick peaceful break before you cross into the bustle of Museum Mile on fifth. The Met on Fifth is the largest of the museums and it is going to take you the rest of the day to get through it. Some of my favorite parts of the museum include the Costume Institute if there’s a fashion exhibition, the Egyptian Art wing, the Charles Engelhard Court in the American wing, the Medieval Art wing and the rooftop. The rooftop is open May-October and sometimes holds exhibitions while the views of the city are incredible.

 

By the time you are done with the Met on Fifth you’ll probably be too tired or it will be too late to attempt to go uptown as the MET closes at 5:30pm (Sun-Thurs) and the Met Cloisters at 5:15pm. You might feel like you didn’t see everything at the Met on Fifth and want to come back the second day. You are going to want to leave the Met Cloisters for the third day, as it takes a while to get up there and because it deserves a slow stroll through the grounds. The Met Cloisters is located inside Fort Tyron park in upper Manhattan, literally almost at the very end of Manhattan. From the Met on Fifth to the Cloisters the subway ride will take around an hour, and from the subway to the museum you are walking uphill. Give yourself time to walk slowly and take in the views of the flowers and nature of the park. I’m assuming you can take a taxi up but why would you, when you’ll miss the views and the nature. NOTE: Once you get off the train follow the signs that say Cloisters to find the elevator inside the subway station that will take you up to the entry of the park. If you attempt to walk from the subway, it will take long and it might be confusing. The park also has many hills and steps and you will be EXHAUSTED by the time you get there. I’ve walked there both ways and highly suggest finding that elevator!  Take your time in this museum, its small but gorgeous as it is filled with medieval art and the gardens and the architecture of the building are impeccably detailed.

 

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Local: YOU GOT THIS! I did it!

Now you may like the suggestions I made for tourists, and by all means follow them. But as a person who enters NYC via midtown I prefer going all the way up to the Met Cloisters first and coming back down to the Met Breuer in one day. Now the Met Cloisters connects via the A subway which runs on the west side of Manhattan, but the Met Breuer is on the east side. You would need to transfer to the C or B subway at some point or get off near Central Park and cross. It doesn’t take long if you walk NYC pace! I still enjoyed the park and I made it to the Met Breuer with hours to spare. From the east side of the park to the Met Breuer its only one block away. I did it this way and felt I saw everything both museums had to offer and got to stop and admire sections of the park I hadn’t before. I visited the Met on Fifth on a separate day, I suggest doing the same due to how big it is. Since I know my way around the museum on fifth, I knew exactly what I wanted to see. What I didn’t know and what you might not have realized is the ticket price for local NEW YORKERS is pay as you wish. College students of the NY, NJ and CT area can also pay as they wish. For non-New Yorkers it cost $25 to enter the museum, but like I mentioned above keep that ticket and receipt because it gets you into all three museums. This policy is fairly new, and a lot of people think it’s still pay as you wish for everyone, it is NOT. But it is well worth it if you visit all the museums!

 

Don’t miss the Picasso’s and Degas’s at the Met Breuer! They have the famous The Little Fourteen Year Old Dancer sculpture by Degas along with other modern art. The museum is the smallest of the three, with many sculptures and a floor currently under construction. You might be finished with more than enough time to visit the Met on Fifth! Take your time at the Cloisters, its like stepping out of New York and into a European medieval castle. The museum itself is small, but you are going to want to take in the details and beauty of the architecture, art and grounds. While Fort Tyron park is beautiful on its own. When at the Met on Fifth make sure to visit the Egyptian and Medieval sections and the rooftop, you wont’ regret that rooftop!

 

 

 

 

In whatever manner you visit the MET Museums I highly suggest you take advantage of the ticket policy. Locals who are just looking for something to do on a weekend or looking for ways to educate their kids are going to enjoy these museums. While tourists visiting for the first time are not going to want to miss the MET, it is a MUST. I hope this post encourages you to visit at least the MET on FIFTH, as I’ve been visiting this museum since I was a little girl and it is still one of my favorite places on earth.

 

Trains: A,B,C

Time: 2-3 Days

Cost: $25 per ticket + subway ride $2.75 per ride + if you are coming from outside NYC.

 

I will have a separate post on the Heavenly Bodies : Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Have you ever visited all three museums as a local or tourists? Let me know in the comments and on social media!- T.S.

 

Fashion exhibit The Museum at FIT

Norell: Dean of American Fashion

Considered the “American Balenciaga” Norman Norell was the father of creating ready-to-wear with haute couture techniques and quality. His collections were worn by celebrities, first ladies and were featured in many films and tv shows during the 50’s and 60’s. His creations and improvements on ready-to-wear clothing and their everlasting impact of fashion revel him the Dean of American Fashion.

With a background in costume creation Norell chose only the best fabrics for his ready to wear collections. Every detail down to the lining of each garment was made in his NYC atelier. Although his work was worthy of boutique prices, Norell insisted his collections be sold to the masses in department stores. A lover of the past and yet ahead of his time Norell drew inspiration from 1920’s and designed culottes in the 1960’s, pants that would only be popular years later.

After the Indiana native moved to New York to gain a fashion design education he quickly moved into costume designing. Although by 1928 his career as a fashion designer began when he designed for Hattie Carnegie, a prestigious New York fashion house.

Norell for Hattie Carnegie

Norell

Norell for Hattie Carnegie 1932

Norell

Norell for Hattie Carnegie 1939. Gingham Hostess Gown

 

 

Before creating his own line Norell worked with garment manufacturer Anthony Traina in 1941. Under this partnership they created the Traina Norell label.

Triana-Norell New York

norell

Right-Traina-Norell NY Off-white sailor dress 1957

 

By 1960 Norell bought out Traina and created the Norell line.

Norman Norell New York

Norell

Norman Norell NY black rhinestone dress, 1972.
Norell: Mink fur and velvet evening coat, 1970.

Norell

Norman Norell New York. Nutmeg Sheth Dress 1965. Turned inside out showcasing the silk lining put into his creations. This was one of the many hand applied couture details Norell put into his garments.

Norell

Norman Norell NY 1960-64.The ‘mermaid” gown was one of Norell’s signature pieces. The style was inspired by Hollywood glamour, which he created into ready-to-wear. It was one of his most popular creations.

Norell

Norman Norell NY: Camel suit 1972 and heather 1969 suit. Techniques here included lining the jackets in sequins.

Norell

Both Norman Norell NY 1966. In these pieces he used silhouettes that originated in the 1920’s. These belonged to actress Lauren Bacall.

 

 

 

Norell

Norell: Double breasted coat 1963-67. In the 1940’s followed the trend of infusing menswear into women’s garments. His wool coats are some of his best menswear infused pieces.

norell

Norman Norell NY 1968 Sailor Gown. Inspired by the sailor suits he wore as a child.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the styles that Norell perfected with his couture techniques and ready to wear collections:

  • Mermaid Gowns
  • Culottes
  • Wool Jersey and Colorblocking
  • Flappers
  • Fur Trims
  • Double Sided Breasted Silhouette
  • Pant Suits
  • Shaped Suits
  • Wedged Shaped Coats
  • The Pussycat Bow
  • Belts
  • Collars and Capes
  • Color Choices
  • Sailor Suit
  • Kimono Style Wrap dress
  • The Perfect Little Black Dress
  • Empire Waist
  • Full Skirts
  • Fantasy Coats
  • The Ultimate Evening Skirt
  • Mermaids

Scroll through the slideshows to see the styles mentioned above designed for the Norman Norell, Triana and Hattie Carniege collections.

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This highly respected and beloved American Couturier won the Coty Award five times and a honorary doctorate from the Pratt Institute. He was also the second president of the Council of fashion designers of America and celebrated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art amongst many other accolades. Norell: Dean of American Fashion is open until April 14, 2018 at the Museum at FIT.

T.S.

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 Fashion exhibit Jewelry 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.