Archive for March, 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Crocodile Rock

John Galliano

John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960) for Christian Dior (French, founded 1947). Dress, spring/summer 2003. Red silk tulle with crocodile appliqué. Gift of Christian Dior Couture, 2003 (2003.438).

John Galliano’s conflations of diverse cultures and historic periods are the most fevered and unexpected of any contemporary designer. Read more »

Friday, March 28, 2008

Paper Doll

Tao Kurihara

Tao Kurihara

Tao Kurihara (Japanese, b. 1973) for tao Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 2005). Ensemble, spring/summer 2007. Ivory silk knit; white paper; natural cotton canvas. Gift of Comme des Garçons, 2007 (2007.382.2a–f).

Tao Kurihara, like John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, is a graduate of the prestigious fashion program of Central Saint Martins in London. She was mentored at Commes des Garçons Read more »

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gilded Gentry

Coat and Waistcoat

Coat and Waistcoat, ca. 1730. Probably British. Coat: red wool broadcloth with gilt thread and sequin embroidery; waistcoat: white silk satin with gilt thread and sequin embroidery. Isabel Shults Fund, 2004 (2004.411a, b).

In the eighteenth century men’s formal and court attire expressed, in forms only slightly less constrained than the womenswear of the period, a lavishness that was notable for the elegance of its finish Read more »

Monday, March 24, 2008

Surreal Touch

Rei Kawakubo

Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, b. 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969). Ensemble, fall/winter 2007–8. White Lycra blend jersey; black synthetic velvet; white faux leather and white rubber. Gift of Comme des Garçons, 2007 (2007.382.1a–e).

Rei Kawakubo’s fall/winter 2007–8 collection took the surrealist strategies of unexpected distortions of scale and uncanny displacements. The ambience was set for a show of sweetness and innocence, Read more »

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bootleg Sin

Maniatis Bottier Maniatis Bottier

Maniatis Bottier (French, founded 1920). Boots, 1920s. Left: Black leather, gold leather trim, and black twined cotton laces. Alfred Z. Solomon-Janet A. Sloane Endowment Fund, 2007 (2007.56a, b). Right: Red leather with black leather trim. Alfred Z. Solomon-Janet A. Sloane Endowment Fund, 2007 (2007.57a, b).

Maniatis, who was born in Greece, provided customized footwear for the likes of Cary Grant and Jean Gabin from his Paris shop in the ninth arrondissement. His location, near the Pigalle red-light district, perhaps helps to explain the design of these boots. Read more »

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Loosen Up

Jean Paul GaultierJean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier (French, b. 1952). Evening Dress, spring/summer 2001. Pink silk satin, pink silk tulle overlay with pink seed-bead embroidery, and pink silk ribbon laces. Purchase, Catharine Breyer Van Bomel Foundation Gift, and funds from various donors, 2001 (2001.455.2a–e).

Jean Paul Gaultier began as a free-spirited designer of prêt-a-porter collections, famed for the often louche references in his designs to Bettie Page waist-cinches and girdles, the mariner’s sweater via “Querelle” and the Marseille waterfront, Read more »

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake

French DressFrench Dress

French Dress (Robe à la Française), ca. 1775. Pink ribbed silk with white linear silk vine motif and multicolored silk floral brocade with passementerie and scalloped fly fringe trim. Isabel Shults Fund, 2005 (2005.61a, b).

This gown first came to the Museum’s attention when it was lent for the exhibition “Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century.” Set among The Costume Institute’s most lavish court gowns in a vignette representing a ladies’ “withdrawing room,” this dress stood out because of its exceptional brilliance and the freshness of its color. Read more »

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Holding Pattern

Hussein Chalayan

Hussein Chalayan Hussein Chalayan Hussein Chalayan

Hussein Chalayan (English, born Cyprus, 1970). “Remote Control Dress,” spring/summer 2000 (edition from 2005). Pink fiberglass; pink nylon tulle. Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2006 (2006.251a–c).

Hussein Chalayan’s collections are an articulation of his immediate conceptual and philosophical preoccupations as well as his fascination with materials and techniques as they might be applied to his métier. Read more »

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mull it Over

American Dress

American Dress, 1872–73. White cotton mull with self-ruching. Purchase, Judith and Ira Sommer Gift, 2002 (2002.252a, b).

This summer gown represents the first period of the bustle silhouette, 1870 to 1875, which disappears between 1876 and 1881, returns in 1882, and survives in modified form until 1889. Read more »

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

“I Do”

Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji Yamamoto Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji Yamamoto (Japanese, b. 1943). “Wedding Dress,” spring/summer 2000. Natural cotton muslin and ivory silk jersey with large laser-cut holes. Gift of Minori Shironishi, 2003 (2003.573.8a, b).

This unconventional wedding dress concluded a presentation by Yohji Yamamoto that, according to Robin Givhan of the Washington Post, “pushed one to think about construction.” Read more »

E-mail It