As you enter this exhibit it transports you to an era of huge ball gowns and beautiful sartorial pieces. This exhibit comes all the way from Brooklyn Museum outlining the fashion worn in America worn from 1910 to 1980. This exhibit represented a flashback into the evolution of couture workmanship. The various designer that came to foregrounds post war and displayed the looks of the time. This exhibit is running from March 14th through July 19th at the Legion of Honor. If development of fashion over the years is something of great interest this exhibit is a must see.
The surrealist tendencies of Elsa Schiaparelli was seen by this bug necklace. This piece showed the inventive route the designer took to exhibit. This piece took inspiration from colorful Botticelli’s work as well. The other piece on display, which had an interesting story was a beautiful dress where she used the butterfly print to symbolize emergence of beauty. She used the same print on other items such as parasols to represent the move towards beauty.
Fontana Sisters designed this ensemble for Ava Gardner for the Barefoot Contessa in 1954. This silk dress with a cape looked like such a statement piece. The designers were known for their wasp waisted detailed styling. This piece beautifully displayed all the detailing done by them.
Gabrielle “CoCo” Chanel
This piece embodied simplicity as well as functionality all in one. In the 1920s Coco Chanel brought to us the concept of “little black dress” . Tiered ruffles seen in this dress was ahead of its times and it reflected the brilliant couture workmanship. It was a day to night look and it took on a modernist approach.
Yves Saint Laurent
These pieces were from the collection YSL presented through the House of Dior after an unexpected death of Christian Dior in 1957. These pieces showed modernism moving away from the wasp waisted silhouette to the trapeze shape. He was able to change the perception of ready to wear. The shapes of the dresses signified free of constraints for women in the society.
Arnold Scassi captured the opulence of 1980s in this silk tafetta dress. This dress used one of the summer fabrics such as organza. This dress captures your eye as you see this. The dress was owned by Austine Hearst, mother of Hearst Corp. Chairman William Hearst III.
Vera Maxwell, was an American designer. She rose to prominence in the 1940s when the World War II was underway, stalling a lot of commerce. In this piece the coat over shoulder represented democracy. She used parachute cloth as a substitute of silk in her construction as there was a shortage of silk due to Japanese embargo.