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.”
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.
This Pink and Black Sequined Mini Dress (autumn / winter 1983 – 84) is characteristic of paradoxical charm of the work of Stephen Sprouse (1953 – 2004). He often sited the cutout, mini-skirted styles that designers like Andre Courreges and Rudi Gernreich introduced in the 1960s, yet he reartciluated these silhouettes within the distinct cultural context of 1980s New York. From his debut collection, he established a unique look, artfully integrating pop culture and street style into youthful fashions executed in luxurious materials.
Sprouse was particularly known for his ability to sketch: the graffiti motifs developed for his textiles were frequently drawn by his own hand. The scrawled neon print of this dress has been skillfully engineered and embroidered with a gleaming layer if clear paillettes, lending a patina of glamour to an otherwise edgy garment.
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.
I saw this fabulous Pink Metallic Mesh Dress in a shop on Greene Street in SoHo when I was party-hopping during the Open Showrooms evening that closes out the two-week long NYCxDesign event.
Here’s a detail shot of the mesh that I managed to get, even though at this point I was already too tipsy to remember to note the name of the store I was in. Oops.
The camera roll on my phone tells me that pictures of the dress were taken at 31 1/2 Greene Street, but I looked up that address and I am pretty sure it was south of that exact location. It sure is a great-looking dress. I would wear it.
Update 10/19/19: The store is called The Webster and it’s located at 29 Greene Street!
If you haven’t yet discovered the coolest hotel in downtown NYC — also know as the citizenM Hotel located at 185 Bowery — then you need to head over there and have a cocktail or three in their immersive, in-house Museum of Street Art (MOSA). Intended as a tribute to the late, great 5 Pointz, 20 artists were commissioned to create the artworks that line the walls of hotel’s lobby/cafe, extending across 21 stories of the 300-room hotel’s stairwell, and even out into the public plaza in the front of the building, which is where I spotted this Hot Pink Mannequin Torso covered with names of famous cosmopolitan cities. I don’t know whose work this is, but maybe he or she will see this post and claim credit for this fun and provocative piece!
In line with other surrealist artists’ engagements with the ready-made, Wilhelm Freddie’sobjets-mannequins, such as Sex-Paralysappeal (1936, shown here as a 1961 artist’s copy) were scandalous in their day for their explicit references to sex. With a prominently painted penis, both the 1936 and 1961 versions of this work were confiscated by the Danish authorities soon after they were exhibited.
In Sex-Paralysappeal, Freddie transforms the classical bust into a surrealist object by treating it like a mannequin head and adorning it with various accessories. Placing the head inside an incomplete picture frame, he indicates the desire for the image to become dimensional, more lifelike. The work’s composite title vacillates between sex appeal and paralysis, amplifying the incongruity of its constituent elements.
Photographed in The Met Breuer as Part of the Exhibit, Like Life: Sculpture Color and The Body.
Bergdorf Goodman Department Store on Fifth Avenue is known worldwide for their stunning seasonal window displays, but all you have to do is step inside to see that this same visual aesthetic carries over to every inch of the store. I took these photos when my friend Lorrie and I visited Bergdorf’s after we had an amazing Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, which is just next door.
If you want sell a dress, this is the way to do it.
The spring 1991 collection by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel was clearly inspired by surfing wet-suits. The Blue and Black Sequined Grosgrain Jacket was one of several brightly-colored versions covered in shimmering sequins that glistened like wet neoprene, and the lines of black, grosgrain trim are similar to the seams of a wet-suit. Lagerfeld called this jacket “the city surfer” look and noted that it was “perfect for diving into the nightlife from Paris to Rome to London to New York.”
Photographed as part of the Exhibit Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme which Runs Through at January 6, 2018 the Museum at FIT In Manhattan.
Above and Below, New Shots Added February 9, 2019 from The Current Exhibit, Exhbitionism: 50 Years of the Museum at FIT.
Here’s another sweet shot from my trip to Palm Springs last Christmas. There’s a Saks Fifth Avenue at a swanky outdoor mall located in the adjacent town of Palm Desert, and I snagged a serious cache of blog fodder from their many eye catching in-store displays. This very fetching pink-haired mannequin is pimping “Little Somethings for the Ladies”. . . whatever they may be.
I spotted this gorgeous lady — possible Diana, the goddess of the hunt — in the window of New York Vintage, a shop specializing in 1980s and ’90s-era clothing and accessories, which is located at 117 West 25th Street (Between 6th and 7th Avenues) in NYC.
On the day of the #NotMyPresdent’s Day March, I got separated from the people I had come with and, due to crowd-control efforts, I ended up having to take a detour all the way over to Broadway in order to come back around and find my friends waiting for me on Central Park West. And it was there on Broadway, somewhere between 65th and 68th Streets, that I passed by this store window display for Mr. Bubble, which also featured many Hot Pink Rubber Ducks. Awesome.