Vintage Weekends VIII

Summer's in full swing and it may be a bit too hot to spend your weekends hunting the local garage sales so why not check out some local museums and current exhibits in the comfort of a climate controlled environment? Some to check out this weekend:
Balenciaga opera coat 1967
Indianapolis, IN All Dressed Up: The Latest Additions - In recent years, IMA has made significant acquisitions of both modern and historic costumes. All Dressed Up feature more than 30 of these recent additions, including extraordinary garments by revered European couturiers such as Chanel, Balenciaga, Givenchy and Lanvin that will be displayed for the first time. American fashion designers--including Indiana's own Norman Norell and Halston--will also be represented. Other objects featured will include three paper dresses representing the "throwaway culture" of the 1960s, and whimsical, surrealistic Bes-Ben hats created by "Chicago's Mad Hatter" Benjamin Green-Field. The highlight of the exhibition is an1880s Imperial Russian court dress, created by Charles Fredrick Worth, which belonged to Maria Maximilianova Romanovska, a great-granddaughter of the French Empress Josephine and granddaughter of the Tsar Nicholas I, of Russia. The sumptuous gown has a silver moiré skirt with a luminous emerald-green silk velvet bodice and a matching 12-foot train embroidered in large-scale floral and foliate motifs with crystal beads, silver sequins, and silver foil and strips. - 4/1/2007 through 12/30/2007

Christian Dior day suit 1947
Also at the Indianapolis Museum of Art: Dior: The King of Couture - Celebrated as the "King of Couture," Christian Dior revolutionized the Paris fashion industry in the period immediately after World War II and became one of the most important designers of the 20th century. This exhibition, which includes more than 20 gowns drawn from IMA's permanent collection and loaned from private collectors, provides insight into a designer who considered couture an art on par with architecture and painting. Dior introduced the tailored glamour of the "New Look"-his wildly popular and decidedly feminine style-in 1947 (the suit shown right was created in that year), and it was an immediate sensation. He became a household name on both sides of the Atlantic, as war-weary women responded to the silhouette, which featured a full bust, narrow waist and ample skirts, made possible with the end of the war and fabric rationing. Dior was prolific from 1947 until his death in 1957. This exhibition, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of his death, demonstrates the painstaking artistry of true couture and the timeless elegance of Christian Dior creations. - 6/10/2007 through 11/30/2007

Lanvin ensemble
Phoenix, AZ Automotivated - French couturiers often worked with carmakers to create matching ensembles for the car owners who sought to create the ultimate luxury style statement. Automotivated profiles examples of work by some of the top couturiers of the 1930s, including Lanvin, Paquin, Vionnet and Schiaparelli, among others. The exquisite color combinations and form fitting lines in these garments show their relationship to streamlined design and modernity as it emerged from the automotive industry. From the brown linen dusters and goggles of the early 1900s to the sleek and glamorous bias cut gowns of the 1930s, this exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum shows the influence of streamlined automobile design in fashion design. - April 14, 2007 – September 2, 2007
 Kent, OH Charles James - The body of work created by Charles James from 1926 until his death in 1978 has become a touch stone in the history of fashion. Distinctive, colorful and extreme are terms that describe both the clothes and the creator. While much could be said about Charles' personality and lack of business acumen, this exhibition aims to study specific garments from the collection of the Kent State University Museum, The Ohio State University, The Goldstein Museum of Design and Mount Mary College. Aware of his contribution to twentieth century aesthetics, Mr. James encouraged his clients to donate his garments to museums. Early on, he believed in the mission of the design laboratory at the Brooklyn Museum where the first exhibition of his work was presented in 1948. Based in educational institutions, our collections also aim to share with others the works of masters of fashion. A hundred years after his birth, his legacy lives on. - May 31, 2007, to February 17, 2008

Schiaparelli Tear Illusion dress 1938
London, England Surreal Things - While many exhibitions have explored Surrealism as a movement in literature and the fine arts, Surreal Things is the first to examine its impact on architecture, design and the decorative arts. It presents a new approach to the subject, focusing on the creation of surrealist objects, whether unique works of art or examples of modern design. - 29 March – 22 July 2007

Have a great Summer!