For a Body Nobody Ever Had -- fashion and aesthetics
Posted 07 December 2001 - 09:11 AM
For a Body That Nobody Ever Had
"EXTREME BEAUTY: The Body Transformed" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute may be the ultimate fashion survey. It is at once a celebration and an indictment of fashion. It
reveals both the artistry and the perversity of
fashion designers. It demonstrates the powerful pull and aesthetic coherence created by ideals of physical beauty. Yet, because these ideals tend to concern the fairer sex, the show also exposes their linkto misogyny and self-loathing."
Posted 07 December 2001 - 01:08 PM
Posted 07 December 2001 - 01:45 PM
Posted 07 December 2001 - 05:38 PM
Posted 07 December 2001 - 08:17 PM
Posted 07 December 2001 - 09:27 PM
and LMCtech is right--costumers are used to operating in subterranean levels, doing our own peculiar forms of transformation wink.gif Actually, this show is more fashion than costumes, per se.....the exhibition catalogue is supposedly very well done.
[ December 07, 2001: Message edited by: Juliet ]
Posted 08 December 2001 - 12:19 PM
The Constume Institute, notwithstanding the above disclaimer, is (in my opinionated opinion) 7th Avenues dubious contribution to the MET. An entity dedicated to the dubious proposition that fashion deserves the treatment of "high" art. In this vein we have also recently seen the Guggenheim mount a retrospective on none other than that great modern artist, Georgio Armani. That followed the Guggenheim's other blockbuster show: "The Art of the Motorcycle" (which, by the way, included a workshop featuring Ethan Stiefel). I also remember the MET's show featuring Jackie Kennedy's wardrobe, clearly of equal weight with the Pyramid of Giza and Aristotle Contempating the Bust of Homer!
I'm an enfant terrible on this subject, I know. In fact, few things are more revealing about the aesthetic and culture of an era than its dress. Culture all hangs together -- the flowing Roman fashions of Madame de Recamier's period in the Napoleonic empire, for example, are all of a piece with its other aesthetics, its ideas, its archeticture and its painting. Home furnishings and decoration are also extremely revealing in this connection. I suppose that the MET is a wide enough context to include this. But Georgio Armani at the Guggenheim -- that I just can't stomach.
[ December 08, 2001: Message edited by: Michael1 ]
Posted 08 December 2001 - 01:15 PM
I have always been more interested in the skill and talent it takes to make and design textile objects that serve a function than a painting which serves none. Part of that is because it is a genre that I understand because I work in it. I think beautifully crafted articles of clothing, be they ancient or off of last weeks runway show, ARE art, and deserve a place in the museums of the world.
We are entering the oft debated realm of "art" vs. "craft". There is no resolution, I think. Some will agree with you, Michael, and some with me, and that is great ( I love a good debate). I only wish to be given the option of seeing great clothes in a formal non-retail setting. There is of course no arena for that here in SF and I so rarely get to New York. And that is why I'm jealous.
Posted 08 December 2001 - 09:39 PM
Posted 11 December 2001 - 06:28 PM
Posted 11 December 2001 - 08:57 PM
Posted 12 December 2001 - 03:21 AM
If it's not the fault of the designers, etc., is it the fault of the women themselves for slavishly following fashion?
I think the "powers" have decreed that an imperfect woman is not going to make a perfect mate, so men are hypercritical of any flaw they perceive in a woman. If she isn't perfect then she's not going to make a perfect wife/mother/vessel to carry on his genes.
I know that this sounds like a gross exaggeration, but I have a fashion-conscious colleague who attended a medical convention with her then-boyfriend at a luxurious hotel. One day while waiting for an elevator to take her to their room, she was stopped by a man who told her that she was a "very attractive woman" but it was "too bad that her appearance was spoiled" by a broken fingernail (which had just happened - and she was actually on her way to fix it). She exploded! But this is indicative of the way at least some men view women.
Posted 12 December 2001 - 09:45 AM
Maybe in some cultures, or in ours in the history, it might have been men who told women what to do and how to dress. But in the modern world I, as a woman, think that I should feel ashamed of myself if I blamed "the men" for my follies and quirks. I am free to choose, and it's my fault if I don't choose as I know to be right.
Posted 12 December 2001 - 11:29 AM
Most of the great paintings have full figured women, the kind with curves. It's women who have bought the fashions that sometimes the men create and we still do.
Some women still wear "corset" types to create the hourglass they want. The high heels, they hurt like heck, but my job doesn't require me to wear them, but sometimes I like to.
There will always be "weight" issues, but that all comes down to self acceptance, which is why I think we see this shift towards the yoga movement of finding self, albeit through wearing Christy Turlingtons new fashions!
If we look at ballet in this respect, we have a large group of women squeezing themselves into corset like costumes and wearing shoes even worse than heels!
Posted 12 December 2001 - 04:14 PM
In the same vein, Robert Gottlieb turns from ballet to the brassiere, in his review of a new book on the history of the bra, for the Observer:
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