Tag Archive | dress

Eye On Design: Red Chiffon and Organza Gown By Brandon Maxwell

brandon maxwell red gown photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

New York’s Museum of Natural History always has one or two special exhibits that require purchase of an extra ticket above the standard price of admission, but that’s because they are worth it. One of the museum’s current special exhibits is called The Nature of Color, and it is just fantastic. The exhibit is immersive and contains many different galleries and rooms. For example, the Red Room highlights how the color red can mean status, power, and fertility while simultaneously representing sports teams, political parties, and religions.  The centerpiece of this room is a flowing Red Silk Chiffon and Organza Gown created especially for the The Nature of Color by fashion designer Brandon Maxwell.

red gown by brandon maxwell photo by gail worley

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Eye On Design: Parabolic Evening Gown by Pierre Cardin

pierre cardin parabolic evening gown photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Technically, a parabola is a symmetrically mirrored U-shape. Pierre Cardin began working with the parabola in the 1950s, particularly in the 1957 Lasso collection. With the introduction of stretch fabrics and hoops in the 1960s, those sweeping, graceful parabolic drapes became amplified, evolving into ellipses and cones.

pierre cardin parabolic evening gown photo by gail worley

Some of Cardin’s “Parabolic” fashions collapse flat, are easily packed, and emerge as before — like his earlier Cardine dresses, which could be twisted, rolled and stowed effortlessly into luggage. Developed alongside Cardin’s investigations into furniture sculpture, the big, sculptural shapes of the Parabolic dresses were likewise designed to be seen in 360 degrees. And since they were made of stretch fabric, they had a bounce reminiscent of his “Kinetic” dresses from 1972.

pierre cardin parabolic evening gown photo by gail worley

Referencing his earlier “Lasso” or “Eye of the Needle” designs done in wool and mohair, in 1990s’ Parabolic Evening GownCardin creates the shape as a pink and green silk parabola.

Photographed in The Brooklyn Museum.

Eye On Design: Floral Appliquéd Evening Dress By House of Chanel

floral appliquéd evening dress by chanel photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

At the end of the 1920s, the prior emphasis on lavish surface embellishment transferred to printed textiles, which were fashioned into a variety of romantic permutations. The elegant ombre-dyed silk chiffon of this evening dress was likely created for Gabrielle Chanel at her own Tissus Chanel factory in Asnières-sur-Seine, France. The delicate manipulation of the textile in this Floral Appliquéd Evening Dress (spring/summer 1935) is evidence of the superior capabilities of the Chanel  couture workrooms

floral appliquéd evening dress by chanel photo by gail worley

The gown’s bias-cut fabric drapes and clings to the figure, gathering into delicately ruched straps at the shoulders and swelling into soft folds around the hem. Individual picot-edged florets are backed with net to create volume and strategically appliquéd throughout the garment to further enhance the printed motifs, resulting in tactile bouquets that gently flutter when the wearer moves.

floral appliquéd evening dress by chanel photo by gail worley

Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Zebra Punk Party Dress By Anna Sui

Zebra Punk Party Dress By Ann Sui Photo Bt Gail Worley
Photos By Gail

To create the look of the Zebra Punk Party Dress (which was part of her Spring 2007 Punk collection), Anna Sui combined ripped mesh leggings and armlets, references to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm Mclaren’s punk fashions of the mid-to-late 1970s. The monochrome zebra print recalls the strict dress color code of the New York clubs that Sui frequented in her youth, such as Max’s Kansas City and CBGB.

Zebra Punk Party Dress By Ann Sui Photo By Gail Worley

Zebra Punk Party Dress is made from Silk chiffon with a nylon petticoat, leggings and sleeves; worn with brass/glass/plastic bracelet by Erickson Beamon for Anna Sui; cowhide boots by Ballin for Anna Sui.

Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan.

Eye On Design: Christian Dior, Columbine Dress

Christian Dior Columbine Dress Photo By Gail Worley
Photos By Gail

Christian Dior’s “New Look” was central to the postwar revival of the Paris couture system. In addition to selling individual couture  dresses to private clients, Dior also sold licensed copies, like this one of his Columbine dress, which was produced in the US for American department stores. The number of such high-end reproductions was limited, but there were also mass-produced garments that catered to the desire for at least “a copy of a copy of a Dior.”

Christian Dior Columbine Dress Photo By Gail Worley

The Dress Pictured Here is a Licensed Copy of Dior’s Columbine Dress by I. Magnin and Lord & Taylor circa 1947. Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Paris, Capital of Fashion at the Museum at FIT in Manhattan.

 

Eye On Design: Anna Sui, Dorothy Draper Pirate Ensemble

Anna Sui Dorothy Draper Pirate Ensemble By Gail Worley
All Photos By Gail

The importance of storytelling is clear in Anna Sui’s collections, which conjure an imaginary world of Icelandic princesses, pirates, fairies, Vikings and enchanted animals. Complementing these historical and fantastical figures, her runway shows have featured whimsical, surreal accessories from animal hats to gingerbread handbags.

This dress was inspired by Napoleon Bonaparte and the introduction of the Empire style to France in the early nineteenth century.

Anna Sui Dorothy Draper Pirate Ensemble by Gail Worley

Sui gave the gown a punk makeover by cutting it off mid-thigh. She created a series of these dresses in silk chiffon and crepe de Chine printed with hearts, roses, stripes and polka dots. Worn with petticoats and produced in a combination of red, white, and black, they recalled the designs of interior decorator Dorothy Draper, who was known for her dramatic deployment of black and white, as well as the punk clothes worn by members of the New York Dolls. Sui recalls, “Back in the 1970s, if you were part of the rock scene or if you went to clubs like Max’s or CBGB, you only wore red, white or black. Everything was heavily codified.” The French Empire, too, was governed by rigid codes, and this provided the link for Sui’s collection. The Dorothy Draper Pirate ensemble is from Sui’s spring 2007 collection.

Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC.

Eye On Design: Breakfast Suit By Christian Francis Roth

Breakfast Suit By Christian Francis Roth Photo By Gail Worley
All Photos By Gail

Following the lineage of witty designs by creators that include Elsa Schiaparelli and Franco Moschino, this playful Breakfast Suit (Spring / Summer 1990) by Christian Francis Roth employs the Surrealist strategy of displacing everyday objects from their normal environment.

Breakfast Suit By Christian Francis Roth Photo By Gail Worley

Here, a pair of fried eggs are fastidiously pieced down the center front of an otherwise staid, black linen ensemble. Aptly entitled the Breakfast suit, the garment is beautifully constructed, stitched with a level of workmanship and seriousness that belies the joke (yolk)

Breakfast Suit By Christian Francis Roth Photo By Gail Worley
Exhibit Installation View

Roth became known for his engagement with art history and popular culture. His interest in humor and storytelling, combined with an avid devotion to detail, are hallmarks of his work. As the designer himself remarked: “Humor is very important. The quality has to be there, too, otherwise the humor falls dead and the designs just look silly,”

Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Rei Kawakubo’s Tartan Dress

Rei Kawakubo Tartan Dress
Photos By Gail

Fall weather is slowly creeping into NYC, which means fashionable ladies are thinking about layering-up, integrating heavier fabrics into their wardrobes, and maybe adding a tartan plaid to a traditionally muted seasonal color palette. From the look of it alone, one might assume that this voluminous design by designer Rei Kawakubo is from a fall line, but you would be mistaken. It was Kawakubo’s collection from Spring 2017 that featured enormous garments that engulf the body, such as this geometric Tartan Dress for her label, Comme de Garcons. Her designs have typically embraced abstraction and, more recently, a non-functional style. Since 2014, the designer’s collections have consisted of garments that bridge the gap between art and fashion, moving into uncharted territory.

Photographed at The Museum at FIT in Manhattan.

Rei Kawakubo Tartan Dress

 

Eye On Design: Baby Ruth Paper Dress By Waste Basket Boutique

Baby Ruth Paper Dress
Photos By Gail

Garments such as this A-line Baby Ruth Paper Dress (circa 1968) by Mars of Ashville (marketed under the name Wastebasket Boutique) became popular marketing tools for brands during the 1960s. The work of Pop artists like Andy Warhol was similarly turning everyday products into works of art. “Paper is the clue to the future,” declared Women’s Wear Daily in 1966.

Baby Ruth Paper Dress
Installation View with Michael Mott Target Minidress (1968)

See more examples of paper dresses from the sixties Here and Here!

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Minimalism/Maximalism, On View at the Museum at FIT Through November 16th, 2019.

Eye On Design: Undercover Spring/Summer Ensembles Featuring Hieronymus Bosch Textiles

Undecover Mini Dress Detail
All Photos By Gail

For designer Jun Takahashi’s Undercover 2015 spring/summer ready-to-wear collection, he presented a series of dresses in textiles printed with phantasmagoric iconography from Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights, collaged in a manner that heightens the painting’s proto-Surrealism.

Undecover Mini Dress

Undecover Mini Dress Full

Arguably Bosch’s most complex and enigmatic creation, the triptych’s overall theme is the fate of humanity — more specifically, the concept of sin, which starts in the Garden of Eden on the left panel and ends in Hell, on the right.

Bosch Separates

The collection also features matching footwear in the Bosch textile, and jewelry/accessories inspired by flowers in the background of the famous painting.

Giraffe Print Blouse Detail

Bosch Shoes Front

Wedge Shoes, Detail

Bosch Shoes Back

Bosch Dress Back

Photographed at the Cloisters as Part of the Exhibit, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, On View Through October 8th, 2018 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (at both the Fifth Avenue and Cloisters Locations) in NYC.

Bosch Dress Front