Friday night was members’ preview of the V & A Ocean Liners exhibition. So I expected glamour. Some rather lovely film sequences of ballrooms, and, entertainingly, a windswept deck fashion show on film.
And, of course, glamour means Dior:
A Christian Dior suit worn by Marlene Dietrich arriving in New York on the Queen Elizabeth in 1950. And here she is with a few captivating stills from a film of her posing in a suit by Adrian (memo to self: look him or her up) on the Queen Mary in New York 1939:
Other clothes to see? Quite a few and an on-deck “swimming pool” to show off the period swimwear, with an Ocean liner steaming away (yuk! look at the smoke) in the background:
Now we are into dark January, so some of the time things can still seem black and white. Before it closed, I managed to get to the exhibition of Louise Dahl Wolfe’s photography at the Fashion and Textile Museum. What did she photograph? Dior, of course.
But also portraits – and who could rival M. Dior? Vionnet, quite possibly. I love this portrait of her taken by Louise Dahl Wolfe:
It’s a beautifully made suit on an intelligent woman, and I love both the shock of white hair and the way it is captured.
Picking a third and final photo, how about:
The label beside it said
“Looking at Matisse at the Museum of Modern Art, New York 1939:
The models wear jackets of nageiore [no, I’ve no idea] feathers from the department store Bonwit Teller in New York. Dance 1 was completed by Henri Matisse (1869-1954) in 1910 as part of a commission, and sold by the artist’s son to Walter P. Chrysler Jr (1909-1998) in 1936. The painting was given to the Museum of Modern Art in the 1960s by Nelson A. Rockerfeller (1908-1979).
Harpers Bazaar, July 1939.”
There’s so much history in that, and captured in 1939. Nudes and Feathers. And simply a great photo.
For Christmas Day I am going traditional and dreaming of glamourous films in black and white.
In a perfect fantasy there will be Dior. So here is a selection in black and white:
Not many visitors were dressing for the occasion, perhaps initimidated, but hats off (or, rather, on) to this lady in the grand tradition:
And just in case that’s not enough, for a Christmas bonus a whole wall of black and white:
A Dior is for life (that is, timeless) not just for Christmas. Especially if it is red.
And a close up of the waist drape:
So far I have shown Mr. Dior’s dresses, but the Paris exhibition covered designers under the label as well. I will leave aside Yves St. Laurent as he deserves his own space – I went to a big St. Laurent retrospective at the Bowes Museum last year. I did, of course, take in his own museum in Paris as well. But back to Dior.
That’s Gianfrance Ferre. As is this:
And how could anyone omit Jean Paul Gaultier (who also had his own splendid exhibition at the Barbican a couple of years ago – yes, I went):
And Marc Bohan:
I’m stopping there as I’m very much into the vintage feel of the exhibition so Raf Simons isn’t included although I’ve mentioned the lovely Flo in the film Dior & I, and maybe when I’ve uploaded a fair few more of my Paris exhibition pics – more to come – I’ll look at a couple of still from that.
Of course the exhibition would not be complete without a vast ballroom. Here I am taking my photo in the corner
Yesterday was lipstick bright so today is muted tones of gold, all from the ballroom:
The third (I think) room of the exhibition was given over to a display where full sized gowns, reduced size models (more on this later) and hats, shoes and bags were all mixed up together.
So today’s theme is lipstick red
Even when I’ve only posted two dresses I find it hard to pick between them. Here are more: