Tag Archive | Counter Couture

Eye On Design: Acid Test Dress and Boots By Gretchen Fetchen

Acid Test Dress and Boots
All Photos By Gail

Paula Douglas, also known as Gretchen Fetchen, was one of the early participants in the San Francisco Acid Test  happenings organized by Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters in the mid-1960s. The events were designed as gatherings to promote consciousness expansion and creativity through the use of LSD, which was legal at the time.

Gretchen Fetchen’s Acid Test Dress (1965) and painted Orange Leather Boots reflects the Merry Pranksters’ rejection of norms of appearance through the embracing of exuberant Day-Glo colors. The garment also features a star, together with red, white and blue stripes — symbols of the Merry Pranksters.

Acid Test Dress and Boots Installation View

Acid Test Dress and Boots Installation View. Photographed as Part of the Counter Couture Exhibit, Up Though August 20th, 2017 at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC

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Eye On Design: Studded Levi’s Denim Jacket By Billy Shire

Studded Levis Denim Jacket
All Photos By Gail

In 1974, Billy Shire was working on a Studded Denim Jacket to advertise his studding business, and decided to enter  it into the Levi’s Denim Art Contest. His entry, Welfare (1975), which won the competition, is embellished with eleven pounds of rivets, rhinestone rim sets and oversize upholstery tacks typically used on leather and furniture.

Studded Levis Denim Jacket Detail

It also incorporates an ashtray and a hotel desk bell, which chimes while the jacket is being worn.

Studded Levis Denim Jacket Installation View
Installation View with Jacket on Far Right

Studded Levis Denim Jacket Installation View

Shire has created stage costumes and street wear  for Elton John, as well as members of the bands Chicago and The Doobie Brothers

Theses Photographs were Taken at the Exhibit, Counter-Couture: Handmade Fashion in an American Counterculture  on Display Through August 20th, 2017 at the Museum of Arts and Design, Located at 2 Columbus Circle (at 58th Street and 8th Avenue), in NYC.

Studded Levis Denim Jacket Photo