NEW YORK — Today’s opening of "Blithe Spirit: The Windsor Set" marks associate curator Andrew Bolton’s maiden exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but it will also introduce another new face to the museum’s Costume...
NEW YORK — Today’s opening of "Blithe Spirit: The Windsor Set" marks associate curator Andrew Bolton’s maiden exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but it will also introduce another new face to the museum’s Costume Institute.
While they are expected to make a more formal debut at the Met’s upcoming "Goddess" exhibit, planned for April 2003, a new set of mannequins commissioned by the Met is also being used in the "Blithe Spirit" show. However, their faces have been partially obscured by thick white stockings, primarily because the exhibition’s subject matter refers to very specific personalities — the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Lady Mendl and Mona Bismarck — which are instead reflected by a series of wigs patterned from pictures and paintings of those subjects.
Bismarck’s closely cropped, salt-and-pepper curls, for instance, can be seen in a portrait by Salvador Dali from 1943, when she was married to Harrison Williams. While the renowned beauty was once derided for dyeing her hair brown, the plaster version was designed to reflect the prevalent styles of café society, as does another model based on the parted, horn-like curls of Wallis Warfield Simpson.
The petite proportions of the future duchess also played a part in the creation of the new mannequins, Bolton said, considering a Mainbocher evening dress from 1939 that she wore is displayed in the show’s opening and is close to a size one. To further evoke the famous poses of le beau monde, seen in photographs by Horst and Cecil Beaton, several were also cast in a pose that Bolton called "the debutante slouch," where the hips and shoulders are thrust forward to make the chest appear concave.
The exhibition also diverges from traditional Costume Institute shows by incorporating decorative arts from the period, such as a mirrored table by Serge Roche that echoes the splintered mirror bodice of a Schiaparelli cape, or another dark wood Roche table whose baroque legs are echoed in the black velvet swirls of a Balenciaga gown.
"There was an incredible connection between fashion and the decorative arts taking place," Bolton said Wednesday, noting that as the show progresses chronologically through increasingly tense years — ultimately leading to the final declaration of World War II in September 1939 — the relationship between creativity and an acceptance of the sociopolitical client becomes more apparent."The whole Blithe world was about denying what was going on," he said. "While women escaped into tea parties and fancy dress, fashion retreated into classicism and romance."
For instance, a gallery that features a Vionnet’s transparent crinolines and Balenciaga’s bustle skirts — set against a curvaceous Royere sofa — demonstrates an innocence and longing for references of 1870s and 1880s Victoriana. It is followed by a gallery filled with subsequent designs that reflect the mood of war: Paquin’s day dress covered in blood-red poppies, Chanel’s evening dress in red, white and blue, referencing the French Tricolor, and Schiapparelli’s symbolic torn gown and fuchsia dresses embroidered with beaded flies. Behind them is a Eugène Berman trompe l’oeil wardrobe, painted to appear as a bombed-out building.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)