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.