Knowing other librarians is a good thing! I have a new acquaintance who works at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. These museums include the deYoung and the Legion of Honor. I recently saw that the deYoung was exhibiting Fashioning San Francisco: A Century of Style. It is about haute couture worn in San Francisco. I love seeing these types of dresses, so when we were emailing back and forth I mentioned a forthcoming (mythical) trip. My acquaintance offered FREE tickets. I was thrilled and took her up on it right away.
Of course, the day we chose turned out to be one of the worst weather days of the season. We went anyway. We drove carefully and at a moderate speed. We had no problems on the way there or back. I appreciated the all wheel drive of my Subaru and the fact that I didn’t have to drive on dirt roads.
The exhibit was nominally arranged by time period. That was clear at the beginning and at the end, but the time period of ball gowns are hard to pinpoint.
I really liked the use of sheer fabrics such as tulle in the various dresses. I think the technique provides structure and wearability to gowns, but also adds interest. Skating dresses use this technique a lot to show off skin without encouraging a wardrobe malfunction.
The neck insert in the dress above on the right gives the idea that cleavage is being shown off, without providing any access. Am I slightly prudish? Yes, a bit. I don’t like men leering at me and that affects the type of dresses I like and want to wear. I prefer an air of mystery when I dress up.
I am definitely a Christian Dior girl. I really liked the simple lines of the designs they exhibited.
The dress in the center is wonderful! I am not a fan of the color, but really like the design. I’d love a cocktail length dress with the same design as the bodice.
I also like the dress on the left. I can do without the color, but the simple lines in turquoise would be fabulous.
I also like Little Black Dresses. There was a description of how they came about, which I thought was interesting. I liked most of the more form fitting examples of these LBDs. I could do without the center dress that is super drapey. I know these are all art, but I can’t help, but think about wearing them. All of these dresses were worn, but I can’t imagine wearing the cream and black one in the center above without a couple of pages to hold up my hem.
When I was running my most recent quilt class, I wanted to add more classes so my students would be well prepared for designing their own quilts. I kept trying to think of quilt blocks that required different techniques. One block they did not want to learn was Cathedral Windows. Next time I teach the class, I’ll teach that technique as a pincushion rather than a block. I think that will be more appealing and pincushions are also fun.
One of the dresses made me think about whether or not I could add a technique that looked like the hem of the dress. First, I love the simplicity of this dress. While I don’t love strapless dresses, this one has structure, so I might even wear it.
I suspect, however, that the star is the skirt and that someone taller than me would really do this dress justice. What embellishment does the skirt remind you about?
I wasn’t a fan of the more modern arty dress designs. One dress had no stitching. It was held together with staples and grommets. As mentioned, I can’t help thinking about wearability. That being said, I did like this Alexander McQueen mini dress.
It looks fairly wearable. It is short, but not TOO short. I like that it has a rounded neckline close to the neck, isn’t strapless and has sleeves.
I also like the texture of the lace contrasted with the red ‘coat’ over it. The shininess of both materials make it look perfect for a black tie event.
I had to look at the gift shop. I am always on the hunt for postcards. I found a few, but they never seem to have the ones I really want. I did see a display of 1940s style HATS in the gift shop. I was amused, but also tempted.
The beige hat, right side, in the photo above would be great in black. It has a fantastic bow on the back. I took a photo, because I wondered if I could use the shape as an embellishment for a bag or pouch.
Yes, I wanted the catalog, because it was big lush and fabulous. Also, I love these kinds of books that mesh fashion or pop culture with history. I knew I would only look at it a few times and wouldn’t really read it until I was old and grey. I’ll check it out of the library.
I mourned the loss of sewing time, but really got inspired by viewing the exhibit. I did enjoy spending time with DH as well.