Archive for the ‘Ensembles’ Category

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 »

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Casta Diva

Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent (French, born Algeria, 1936). Ensemble, fall/winter 1983–84. Coat: yellow silk faille. Dress: black silk velvet. Anonymous Gift, 2006 (2006.420.51a,b).

Among the most dramatic pieces from Yves Saint Laurent’s fall/winter 1983–84 collection of haute couture is this diva-esque coat originally shown over a simple black column. Read more »

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Galloping Galliano

John GallianoJohn Galliano

John GallianoJohn Galliano

Left: John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960). Coat, fall/winter 1996–97. Magenta and forest green printed ivory felted wool with light blue, gray, and white striped silk with brocaded crest lining. Purchase, Irene Lewisohn Bequest, 2004 (2004.410). Right: John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960). Dress, fall/winter 1996–97. Beige laser-cut suede Gift of John Galliano S.A., 2005 (2005.46).

John Galliano’s fashion presentations, whether under his eponymous label or for the House of Dior, are typically theatrical extravaganzas. His themes are often wild syntheses of anachronistic juxtapositions and geographically conflated narratives. Read more »

Friday, February 29, 2008

Constructing Couture

John Galliano

John GallianoJohn Galliano

John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960) for Christian Dior Couture (French, founded 1947). “Creation” Ensemble, fall/winter 2005–6. Beige silk satin, white polyester batting, nude synthetic net, beige cotton braided laces, blue pieced silk with chenille, rhinestone, hammered silver metal, filé, and bead embroidery à la disposition; white leather; beige nylon, polyester batting, and silver metal and pearl hardware with knotted blue silk ribbons. Purchase, The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation Inc. Gift, 2006 (2006.22a–d)

“Creation” exemplifies John Galliano’s articulated interest in exploring, at the time of his fall/winter 2005–6 show, “the construction of haute couture.” Read more »

Monday, February 25, 2008

Body Scan

Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier (French, b. 1952). Dress, fall/winter 1995–96. Multicolored synthetic quilted knit with trompe l’oeil bikini. Anonymous Gift, 2006 (2006.557.1).

Jean Paul Gaultier’s 1995 collection “Femmes Amazone” was accessorized, according to Women’s Wear Daily, with “whips and sundry other Mad Max accessories.” Read more »

Monday, February 11, 2008

Working Girl

Donna Karan

Donna Karan

Donna Karan (American, b. 1948). Jumpsuit, spring/summer 1986. Black cotton jersey. Gift of Peter R. Feuchtwanger, 2000 (2000.369.3).

When Donna Karan established her own design house in 1985, she continued an emphasis on sportswear dressing that had characterized the traditions of Anne Klein, the design house where she had established her career. Read more »

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Crisp Tailoring

Miguel Adrover

Miguel Adrover (American, born Spain, 1965). Coat and Skirt Ensemble with Vintage Fendi Scarf, fall/winter 2000–1. Coat: blue and white striped cotton twill mattress ticking. Skirt: beige and white striped cotton twill. Scarf: ivory silk with allover double interlocked “F” logo print, navy band trim, and burgundy tie-dyed pattern. Gift of Miguel Adrover, 2005 (2005.44.1a–c).

This design from Miguel Adrover’s second collection was described by Cathy Horyn of The New York Times as “a simple but respectable Sunday-going-to-church outfit out of a Willa Cather story.” Read more »

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ruff Action

Junya Watanabe

Junya Watanabe

Junya Watanabe (Japanese, b. 1961) for Comme des Garçons (French, founded 1969). Ensemble, fall/winter 2000–1. Pale greige polyester organza and silver polyester and cellophane panné velvet. Purchase, Richard Martin Bequest, 2001 (2001.742a, b)

Junya Watanabe referred to his fall/winter 2000–2001 collection as “techno-couture.” Read more »

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Slav to Fashion

Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent Evening Ensemble

Yves Saint Laurent (French, born Algeria, 1936). Evening Ensemble, fall/winter 1976-77. Blouse: multicolored floral printed silk chiffon with gold lamé polka-dot brocade; Skirt: black silk velvet and green silk moiré; Belt: maroon silk velvet with gold lamé, rhinestone, and silk embroidery and maroon and gold metallic and maroon silk twined rope and tassles. Bequest of Yolande Fielding-Scheftel, 2006 (2006.271.14a–e).

In the mid-1970s the relevance of haute couture was seriously debated. Read more »

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