She MET The Punk and The Couture

So many good exhibitions and things to see in NYC at the moment. Fashion exhibitions seem to be having a moment!

One of the best I saw was Punk: Chaos to Couture.

Sadly no pictures allowed in that exhibit. But, what can I say….a great range of designers and I think there were five rooms of pieces. It seems to be a massive exhibit with each room showing a different take on ‘Punk’.

For example; one room looked at recycling and another about deconstruction.

They juxtaposed 1970s punk outfits with couture more recent pieces.

It really highlighted how far Punk has infiltrated the mainstream consciousness and also how it has influenced designers in a huge variety of ways ever since.

There was the famous A/W 1992 Versace safety pin dress worn by Liz Hurley and a 2007 S/S Prada skirt made of pressed bottle tops.

Moschino pieces made from bin liners, McQueen dresses made from synthetic fabrics made to imitate bin liners and bubble wrap and Margiela pieces made from shopping bags.

Victor and Rolf channeled chaos in their S/S 1998 collection and used spray paint and Demeulemeester used paint splatter in the 2006 S/S collection. There was beauty in the chaos.

It was an amazing exhibition and I encourage all and sundry to visit if you can. Get there early in the day and also don’t go when it is raining outside because every single tourist in America will also be in there!! Although if it is raining it is a great place to get lost in and get inspired.

The MET is $25 (recommended) entry. Which sounds a lot but it is pretty reasonable when you consider you could spend a few days in there and not see everything!! They have quite a few special exhibitions on, I counted 26!! You don’t pay extra to see any of the special exhibits, it is all included!

 

 

 

Fashion History Retro Spective

On my visits to NYC I always try and make a stop at the FIT Museum. This time was no exception. Great value (free!) exhibitions and always full of stunning pieces of current, modern and historical fashion.

IMG_2086At the moment they have the exhibition Retro Spective on. IMG_2090

Based around the subject of fashion borrowing from the past, Retro Spective demonstrates this referencing with fashion pieces placed next to historical ‘inspirational’ style pieces.

They demonstrated the recurrence of silhouettes from distant and recent past.

I thought this was an interesting subject matter, yet I was left underwhelmed with the exhibition. In hindsight I think this was due to the lack of depth that they went into. I feel that each small area they went into could have been much larger and more in-depth. I felt it skimmed the top of what could have been explored further and a bigger exhibition for the museum or an ongoing topic for several exhibits.

Mens jacket
Walter Van Beirendock: Relics of the Future outfit

A man’s ensemble by Walter Van Beirendock was displayed from the Summer 2006 Relics of the Future collection.

This was modeled on mens 18th Century jackets. Made from Raffia this jacket is adorned with dinosaurs and insects instead of traditional plants. I thought this was a charming and unique reference to the past.

A 1944 off white matte silk jersey dress by Madam Gres featured in the exhibition. Inspired by Neoclassical revivals and the fluting of ancient columns. Plus it also references the soft drapery of classical clothing.

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Norman Norell 1962 red dress

 

 

An English white silk tricot dress with pink fringe and cord, circa 1810, demonstrated that going back into history fashion has referenced the past. This dress shows the Grecian influence on this empire waist dress. Next to this was a 1962 Norman Norell red dress made from wool crepe and satin. This dress echoed the same empire line as the 1810 English white silk tricot dress.

 

 

 

 

There was a fab pair of black leather and brocade boots circa 1900. Next to these old boots were a pair of 1965 black vinyl and black and white rubber boots. Such similarities in the design touches yet the fabrics and slight design changes brought the 1965 version into the 20th Century.

1900 Boot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1965 boot
1965 Boot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other designers with pieces featured were YSL, Paco Rabanne and Lanvin.

Skip the line for Fashion front Row

During my trip to NYC I visited a museum I hadn’t tried before: The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA). After stomping through the second heavy rain shower of the week, I found the museum. An unimposing but visually appealing building, modern and yet you definitely felt the Chinese references in the architecture.

This is not a huge museum, but I found that this was it’s charm. When I arrived it was virtually empty, bar a security guard and receptionist. It felt like an undiscovered gem, a world apart from the tourist hot spots like the MoMa and MET museums.

I wandered around, free to spend time taking in the cultural history and challenges the Chinese faced when first arriving and living in America.

There are also two special exhibitions on at the moment that I was particularly interested in seeing: Front Row and Shanghai Glamour.

The brochure describes:

“Front Row celebrates the rise of Chinese American designers. This exhibition showcases the aesthetics of sixteen designers – their individua visions, brands and unique relationships to cultural identity which have shaped not only New York fashion, but an American sense of style.”

Vera Wang Bridal Dress
Vera Wang Bridal Dress
View in the exhibition
View in the exhibition

I liked the layout of the Fashion Row exhibition. I much prefer being able to walk around a garment on display and almost see a 360 degree view of a piece.

Clothing is meant to be seen from all angles and at design school you’re taught and reminded of the need to consider the garment/outfit from all sides (perhaps that’s why I enjoy seeing how the pieces work as a whole).

Compared to other fashion exhibitions I have seen recently I found this exhibit very uplifting and inspiring. The mix of styles, designers, colours, techniques and great lighting made the experience very enjoyable. They also have clips of the designers speaking on video with some interesting quotes about their feelings about being a Chinese designer in NYC.

I would definitely recommend anyone interested in Fashion who is in NYC between now and September 29th 2013 to make a visit. MOCA

Some designers featured:

Vera Wang

Red bridal dress, Katherine, from the Spring 2013 collection

Humberto Leon and Carol Lim

(A day ensemble- a stunning lemon cotton flare coat that fastens with two bows from S/S 2006)

Thomas Chen

(Nice striped cotton shirt featured with interesting cutting and construction – the stripes mitered into corners on the shirt)

Yeohlee Teng

(Creative pattern cutting – explored the Venn diagram)

Mary Ping

(I loved the photos of marble printed onto silk charmeuse from Fall 2012 collection)

See Cindy Sherman in all her glory

I had no idea that there would be a Cindy exhibit on at the MOMA during my NYC visit. So I was very excited to go and see the exhibition today!!!! Yay!
It was great, they had the whole collection of Untitled Film Stills see here for information about it. I’ve never seen the whole collection and it was really good to see them all together. Wow and loads of other photos I haven’t seen before such as the Society Portraits from 2008. Have a flick through the galleries online . Seeing the Centrefolds in their large size increased their impact and I hadn’t expected the Untitled Film Stills to be the small size they are.
So if you love her work like I do it’s pretty much an unmissable opportunity to see her work close up.

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Three exhibits at The Museum at FIT

If they have an exhibition on at The FIT museum then it is always worth a look in. They have a huge collection of clothing (over 50,000 garments) and it’s great that they show them to the public for free. Yesterday I popped in and they have three exhibitions on at the moment: Fashion A-Z, Impact and Youthquake.
Fashion A-Z took one designer from each letter of the alphabet and showed pieces from the FIT collection. There was a broad range of designers on show from Oscar de la Renta to Westwood and Alaia to McQueen.
Take a look at their website

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In a room adjacent they have the exhibit Youthquake! The 1960s Fashion Revolution is an exploration of 1960s youth fashion that had such a huge impact on the fashion world.

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My main comment would be that they could have extended the A-Z exhibit into the Youthquake area and had a bigger sixties exhibit another time.

Downstairs they have the Impact exhibit. This exhibit is focused on American designers and the impact they have had on the fashion industry. There was a nice range of designers and great range of categories from sports wear to couture. They are showing both men’s and women’s wear.
It’s great to see some of the really intricate cut pieces close up such as a Carolina Herrerra gown and the Zac Posen red gown.

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The details of a Francisco Costa’s dress from this year stood out for its beautiful seaming details.

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There is also a selection of accessories. A coach bag from 1973 still looks fresh today, in fact it would easily blend into the current collection (hang on….I just checked out the coach website and they have reissued some bags including the one I saw in the museum! See pics below)

20120322-091012.jpg (coach classic leather $398.00, style:17998)

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Well worth taking a look at this display.

Magpie at heart!

I recently visited the Saatchi gallery in London, I thought it was about time that I went, as I have never been!!

In the end I got very distracted by all the pretty sparkly lights outside and spent a while trying to get different shots of them!

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