Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915 @ LACMA

There is a great exhibition currently on display at LACMA celebrating and exploring the evolution of European fashion during this 200 year period. The garments on display exquisitely trace the development of various silhouettes and manufacturing techniques, and visitors are able to see up close many trimmings and details that are rarely used in contemporary dress. Maybe only a select few couture houses still use embroidery and beading like what is displayed here. 

It's also a rare opportunity to see how the shape of the human body has evolved - I can't believe how TINY we used to be! Even the men's garments suggest the male of the species 200 years ago was barely taller than the average woman today. And he had such a little waist and shoulders. Such dandys they were too!!

Silk satin gown, England, c.1765.
Cotton dress with cutwork embroidery, Europe, c.1885.
Embroidery detail.
"Princess line" dress, silk taffeta, France, c.1880.
Silk two-piece dress, with collar and undersleeves, France, 1855.
Silk taffeta dress with printed butterflies, France, c.1865.
Silk taffeta dress, with silk knotted bustle tassle, France, c.1885.
Silk twill and cut velvet dress, made by the House of Rouff, Paris, c.1897.
Silk organza and satin dress with glass beads, England, c.1830. Cotton jacket and cotton petticoat, France, c.1815.
Leather fetish boots, Europe, c.1900.
Wool riding habit, Europe, English lady's bowler hat, c.1890.
Silk and satin striped jacket and vest, silk breeches, wood walking stick ("Hercules club"), France, c.1785-90.
Button and stripe detail.
Silk shot taffeta coat and breeches, metallic thread embroidery, satin waistcoat, Europe, c.1790.
Silk velvet suit with silk embroidery, Europe, c.1800.
Detail of embroidery.
Silk velvet waistcoat, France, c.1750.
Printed cotton tennis dress, with cotton lace trim, England, c.1885.
Silk satin court gown and train, with gilded copper-thread embroidery, Portugal, c.1845.
Detail of embroidery.

This impressive exhibition closes on 6th March 2011, so get your threads and your best boots on and head down.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tattooed lady by Rudy-Jan Faber.

This is really nice...Rudy is a Dutch illustrator who has a passion (and a talent) for painting girls. My goodness, his portfolio is impressive - have a look. Make sure you also check out the portraits of Robert Smith and Edgar Allan Poe.

I discovered him on the blog Not Your Father's Pin-up. I think I'll be looking at this for a while.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Last bit of December housekeeping...

Happy new year to you - it's 2011 at last!
But before we get stuck in and start talking about January exploits, I had to pop a couple of things up...like some new (and old) friends:

Chopper "Uncle Chop Chop" Read.


The rabbit-dog.

Lars - yes, after Metallica's Lars.

Grumpy dry cleaning dog - no relation to Chopper.
December also saw the ladies showcase at Forgotten Saints, where the delicious pink cocktails were flowing (thanks Nicole!) and the people were perusing, and getting into the party season spirit! The delightful Dealight's soy candles also added to the ambiance - they are amazing, and handmade with beautiful ingredients so their fragrance is not overpowering at all. Nicolina Royale's jewellery was also a big hit too - I love my jewels on the "big statement" side, and she had a lot of pieces right up my alley. Plus Rocco made a very special appearance...everyone loves the Rocco! Rey took some great shots during the night - hope you like them.


Trish's poison apple - thanks Trish!!
It was such a good night - and awesome to see everyone. Keep your ear out for the next event....

And last but not least - a bloody good pie. Here's where you get one in the middle of Hollywood - go to The Village Idiot on Melrose, pull up a stool at the great bar, or grab a cushy booth with your mates, and order the creamed spinach, artichoke and mushroom pie. I think I have had about 5 of them in the last month - delicious! And yes, fantastic golden, crispy, flaky pastry with a tasty and creamy filling, and perfect with a bit of tomato sauce (ask for "ketchup" on the side). Don't worry carnivores, there is a traditional steak and potato pie too, which I have been told is a ripper too. 
The secret? One of the owners of this fine and VERY popular establishment is Australian, and yes, all owners have apparently spent some time in England - hence a bit of a "London" vibe at The Village Idiot. And they have done it well - this is no cheesy themed pub but a stylish and subtle take on a feel. They advertise that they screen Premier League games here, but all of the times I have visited, the screens have been discreetly hidden. No yobs here! Guinness is available, but so too are a good range of European and American ales. And the food is not just traditional English grub. Apart from the pies you can get fish and chips, pork chops, and bangers'n'mash, but these sit alongside modern staples like baked goat's cheeze, mezze plates, and outstanding salads. It's a cliche, but there really is something for everyone here, and it's all wrapped up in nice, warm, wood-toned, friendly vibe. Beware, at night this place gets packed, and the bar full - so tables are sometimes a bit of a wait. Luckily they make a ripper cocktail or two - have one while you wait, you'll be in heaven.
The bar.
The pie.
The coffee - which is VERY good and not too big.
Now I'm hungry.....