Saturday, February 23, 2008

Pretty in Pink

Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne WestwoodVivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood (British, b. 1941). “Propaganda” Dress, fall/winter 2005–6. Lilac silk faille. Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2006 (2006.197).

Vivienne Westwood, arguably the most influential British fashion designer of the twentieth century, revels in incendiary provocation and a defiance of convention but nonetheless finds beauty and inspiration in the past. Read more »

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tight Curves

Tight Curves

Tight Curves

Azzedine Alaïa (French, b.  Tunisia, 1940). Dress, fall/winter 1986-87. Light green rayon knit. Millia Davenport and Zipporah Fleisher Fund, 2007 (2007.82).

Azzedine Alaïa is a designer enamored of the challenges inherent in the transformation of the two-dimensional textile into the sculptural three-dimensional garment. Read more »

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Après Ski

Après Ski

Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Germany, 1938) for Chanel (French, founded 1913). Boots, fall/winter 1993–94. White quilted nylon, black rubber with white inset lettering, black vinyl, black braided nylon and gilt chain ties, and black synthetic faux fur trim. Purchase, The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation Inc. Gift, 2007 (2007.17a, b).

By the 1980s, a decade after the death of its eponymous founder, the House of Chanel was seen to epitomize classic French taste. As an Establishment brand, it was a respected, but somewhat senescent, institution. All that changed with the appointment of Karl Lagerfeld Read more »

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Seam Simple

Geoffrey Beene

Geoffrey Beene

Geoffrey Beene (American, 1927–2004). Dress, fall/winter 1986–87. Black silk jersey and silver panné velvet. Gift of Geoffrey Beene, 2001 (2001.393.60)

Geoffrey Beene was an admirer of the work of Adrian, especially of his carefully mitered striped suits and elaborately pieced crepe dresses. Read more »

Friday, February 15, 2008

Carpet Slippers

Carpet Slippers

Turkish Shoes, 1850–55. Beige rep silk with black silk gros-de-naples foliate design in tapestry weave and black painted wood heel. Purchase, Judith and Ira Sommer Gift, 2005 (2005.113a, b).

The elegant black foliate patterned textile of these shoes was woven by hand, á la disposition, to conform to the pattern piece of the uppers. Read more »

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Chinese Garden

Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen

Philip Treacy (British, born Ireland, 1967) for Alexander McQueen (British, b. 1969). “Chinese Garden” Headdress, spring/summer 2005. Cork. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Alfred Z. Solomon-Janet A. Sloane Endowment Fund, 2007 (2007.307).

Philip Treacy’s hats are exquisite sculptures. 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 »

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Foiled Again

Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake

In the mid-1970s Issey Miyake conflated regional apparel traditions with Western high-fashion aesthetics. With his completely original, virtually unshaped pattern pieces, Miyake inaugurated his APOC, or “A Piece of Cloth,” concept for apparel design. 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 »

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