One of many highlights from my fun-filled holiday trip to California was a visit to Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains; an immersive exhibit covering the complete history of the legendary progressive rock band that even a casual Pink Floyd fan will flip out over. Given my extreme fondness for costume design, you can only imagine my delight in finding that one of the galleries included replicas of the enigmatic Lightbulb Suits seen on the cover and related artwork for the band’s 1988 live album, Delicate Sound of Thunder. Talk about an “Oh, Wow” moment.
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.
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)
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.
A member of the “international set” in fin-de-siècle Europe, Baron Adolf de Meyer (1868–1946) was also a pioneering photographer, known for creating works that transformed reality into a beautiful fantasy. De Meyer likely acquired this tuxedo from the venerable tailor Wolf Kahan during a visit to Vienna. Kahan’s shop, designed by the modernist architect Adolf Loos, catered to the city’s leading artists. The tailor’s son Louis worked from 1925 to 1927 as a designer for the Paris couturier Paul Poiret, whose collections De Meyer photographed.
De Meyer was considered an arbiter of style; he wrote columns for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar that instructed American women on the latest European trends in fashion and interior decoration. His columns also offered tips on hostess etiquette and entertaining. For a time, De Meyer produced his own couture line, Gayne House, sold through his New York shop, Zarah.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Quicksilver Brilliance: Adolf De Meyer Photographs, on View Through April 8th, 2018 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
Prom isn’t a rite of passage that I get sentimental about at all, in any way. I mean, Prom Shmom, who cares? In 20 years, one isolated night of awkward earnestness and drunken, hormone-fueled teenage boinking won’t mean anything anyway. What was I just talking about? Oh yes, Prom outfits. Don’t this young couple look really cute and much smarter/cooler than anyone else at their Prom could possibly look, all dressed up in a suit and dress that come together to form a likeness of my very favorite modern artist, Andy Warhol? Man, they look good. I hope they had fun at their stupid Prom.