Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Golden Age of Couture

'New Look ' collection jacket in silk shantung by Dior, 1947


Pink satin embroidered shoes by Roger Vivier for Dior, late 1950's


Evening dress in silk taffeta by Balenciaga, 1955

Bendigo Gallery have a gem of a show here, which has been organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

'This exhibition explores one of the most glamorous and remarkable decades in fashion history. It examines the world of couture, highlighting the work of Christian Dior, Cristobal Balenciaga, Hubert de Givenchy and Pierre Balmain in Paris and their London counterparts Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies. Other successful designersof the time - such as Jacques Fath, Jacques Griffe, Victor Stiebel and Michael of London - feature in a broad survey of the decade.

More than 100 dresses are displayed including daywear, cocktail and evening dresses made for society and royalty. Of these, the vast majority have been sourced from the V &A's own collection, and captured in the spirit of the moment by Cecil Beaton and Richard Avedon.'

Everything was breathtaking and very comprehensive; vintage fabric swatches, embroidery samples, corsetry, teeny weeny bejewelled Vivier shoes that a 12 year old would have trouble fitting into, I wanted to get inside the cabinets and feel the fabric, and to see if anything actually fit me. Some of the fashion photography of the period was really gorgeous, showing both classic images, and others with references to Dada and Surrealism.

I was amazed to see a doll collection, tiny mannequins and scaled reproductions of clothing, underwear, accessories, even tiny shoes! These were made to show clients who couldn't visit the atelier, an easy to transport mini-model, she even has luggage to match.

It is a long drive ( or train ride) to Bendigo, but well worth the trek. This is the only venue to see this collection in Australia, and it closes on March 22nd, 2009.

Listening to: 'How to be lovely' - Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face

3 comments:

BoDy anD SouL said...

Wow, I guess I'll have to make the trip, "and kill 2 rabbits with one shot" (that's a Portuguese saying)
I'm longing for some country driving...

Have a grate New Year!

pen said...

on my list for january!
can't wait- love the bendigo art gallery!
and those aren't no 'dolls'! 1/3 scale mannequins!
hope xmas was great!

MjB said...

Oh how I adore some Dior. Lovely! Mx

SPAM: forills (like 'for real' - LOL!).