V (vivnsect) wrote,
V
vivnsect

What the sound of a jaw dropping looks like.



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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park


S and I stuck around our neighborhood during the day on Saturday again, this time going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art which is a 15 minute hop, skip and jump from our tiny apartment. While I have tons of photos that I took there that I still need to go through, I had to post about the costume exhibit there currently which is ending soon (September 4th) which blew me away. When I say it was one of the best costume exhibits I have ever seen and experienced I am not exaggerating even a little bit.

I had no expectations for it since I hadn't been to the Met in a while and oddly enough, had no clue that this exhibit even was running (I am ashamed of this fact actually). The exhibit's name is AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion and instead of housing it in the dreary basement of the Met where most of the Costume Institute's exhibits are (which I personally get very turned off by since everything is behind glass and no matter how atmospheric they try to make things, it just feels like being at a clothing zoo (an old time zoo) minus the alive factor if that makes sense) they put it in the open in the English Period Rooms section of the Met on the 1st Floor which created a very eerie and amazing effect.

Not only did putting it in the period rooms make it extraordinary but the lighting was AMAZING. The rooms were dimly lit creating a very impressive, dramatic effect. You travel through the rooms as if you are an eyewitness to these amazing scenes and the experience is viscerally chill inducing.

Since photography was prohibited there, I dug up the best photos I could find that would give a glimpse into the nature of the exhibit along with explanations from the curator, Andrew Bolton.

** A note, the following professional photos are excellent and do their best to show the dramatic exhibit but it should be stated that the rooms were very dark in person so if you can imagine the lighting in such a way, that would do it more justice.



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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

The entrance to the exhibit. On the left, an eighteeth century three piece suit. On the right, pieces by McLaren and Vivienne Westwood from 1976/7.

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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

Andrew Bolton (curator): “The past is represented by a group of about gowns from the eighteenth century, made of Spitalfields silks. The designers at Spitalfields wanted to produce patterns that almost leapt out of the fabric itself, almost like a three-dimensional effect.”


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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

Andrew Bolton (curator): “On the staircase is an incredible court gown that was worn by the great, great granddaughter of George Washington to the court of Queen Victoria in the 1880s. It’s a very elaborate, beautiful gown by Charles Frederick Worth, with an almost two-foot bustle and an 11-foot train. Its floral pattern reflects the foliate carvings on the staircase, so there’s a connection between the staircase and the iconography of the dress."

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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

Andrew Bolton (curator): “On the ground are scullery maids wearing dresses by Hussein Chalayan—the ragged, tattered dresses from the Medea collection, where he combined second-hand garments with buried garments from his own repertoire. He’s stripped them back so they almost look like nineteenth century ragpickers: it’s almost a form of sartorial archeology."

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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

Andrew Bolton (curator): "The Hussein Chalayan dresses have this distressed aesthetic and are in the tradition of nineteenth century ragpickers. The scenario also references the idea of eighteenth and nineteenth century ladies of the manor giving their garments to their maids to wear."

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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

Andrew Bolton (curator): “Hampton Court has a huge state bed that’s very bombastic and pomp-and-circumstance. Often, state beds were used to display the corpses of senior members of the family. After they died, the beds were used as a 'stage' for the wake.”

(This is the same room pictured in the larger first photo above.)

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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

Andrew Bolton (curator): "In the deathbed itself is a piece from McQueen’s current menswear collection—an incredible operatic cape and tartan, which references the figures that haunted the Gothic novels of the late nineteenth century. The tartan is the McQueen tartan and it comes from his own clan."

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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

Andrew Bolton (curator): "The look is accessorized with jewelry by Simon Costin. He created this beautiful Memento Mori necklace made out of birds’ claws, and brooches made out of rabbit skulls, that continue the idea of death and decay.”

(I LOVE, seriously love the necklace and top. Words cannot express.)

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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

Andrew Bolton (curator): "At the side of the bed is an Alexander McQueen dress with a skeleton corset by Shaun Leane, made out of silver with a beautiful tail at the end of it. The mannequin is peering into the bed like a metaphor for death."

(mmm)


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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

Andrew Bolton (curator): “The Croome Court room is entirely covered in French tapestries from the Gobelins factory in Paris. As Anglomania was gripping Europe in the mid to late eighteenth century, England was in the throes of Francomania. In this room we show the impact of English talent on French couture.”

John Galliano for Christian Dior Haute Couture, 1999

(This room was really intense. It was VERY dark, not like the photo above and the dress and figure were illuminated dramatically with a raven cawing in the background. Jaw dropping.)

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A more detailed view of the Galliano dress pictured directly above in the raven room.

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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

Andrew Bolton (curator): “The first piece is a dress by Charles Frederick Worth, an English designer who epitomized French couture. His status as an outsider and an Englishman allowed him to articulate the Frenchness of French fashion.”

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A more detailed view of the Worth dress pictured directly above.


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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

David Bowie’s Union Jack coat, which Alexander McQueen designed for him.

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Andrew Bolton (curator): Traditional hunting dress, which is white tie and scarlet jackets, dancing with enormous gowns by Galliano and Westwood. The scene is frantic, and all of the gowns are historically inspired. One of the themes throughout the exhibition is historicism, and how designers look to their past for inspiration. It all comes together in the last scene. The hats by Stephen Jones touch on the idea winding through the whole of AngloMania of the British eccentric.”


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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

Gowns by Vivienne Westwood (2005) and John Galliano (2004)

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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

John Galliano gown, 1994

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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

John Galliano gown, 2004

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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

Alexander McQueen dress, 2005

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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

Alexander McQueen dress, 2005


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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

Burberry trenchcoat dress, 2006

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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

Andrew Bolton (curator): "On the table creating mayhem is a group of punks wearing McLaren and Vivienne Westwood and Mohawk headdresses specially commissioned for the exhibition by Stephen Jones.”

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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

(This room was spectacular. The lighting and shadows added to the grandiose feel of it.)

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Photo: Irving Solero and Jennifer Park

Tampon mohawk by Stephen Jones.

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To see everything here in this post and a little more with more explanations, go here.

Here is the official Metropolitan Museum of Art link for this exhibit.

If you live in NYC, you MUST go see this before it goes away on September 4th. Seriously. The experience in person is something I cherish and you will too.

More Met pics coming in a later post. I am off to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

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  • I'll ride this dream to the end of the line...

    When you walk over the Williamsburg Bridge, you find yourself deposited deep in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn.…

  • Transcending space

    I live literally a block and a half away from the walkway entrance to this particular bridge and it just begs daily to…

  • Tranformations

    Yesterday, I walked back home from a Union Square school book purchasing excursion through Alphabet City. I wound around…