Balenciaga Exhibit at the deYoung Museum (SF)
Posted 16 June 2011 - 01:24 PM
I saw Balenciaga and Spain" this morning after attending the Picasso exhibit, and I'm I've never seen so many beautiful clothes in one place ever. If I had a penny for every time a woman said, "I'd wear that", I could afford one of them.
I was tempted put this in "Modern and Other Dance" because of the several designs based on Bata de cola, the skirt worn in Flamenco with the long train of ruffles, and other regional folk dress. It was easy to imagine some of the designs moving, even though they were on the mannequins. The more sculptural designs of stiff fabrics made especially for Balenciaga by Abraham in Switzerland looked static until viewing the runway videos shown in a small space near the exit of the exhibition: there, even the stiffest fabrics moved, and the cherry on top was seeing the layers removed, one by one.
My favorite technique was how how swooped the skirts from back to front and side. In the Flamenco studio, my teachers and advanced students are constantly sweeping their skirts around themselves and tucking them in all kinds of moving sculpture, and Balanciaga caught the snapshot in some of his dresses.
Oh, to be rich, thin, and mobile in 1950's-60's Paris...
Exhibit runs through 4 July, and the de Young tower has one of the great 360 degree city views.
Posted 16 June 2011 - 01:49 PM
I saw this, as well, last month, my comments alone would have surely purchased you a dress! It was such a beautiful exhibit; the amount of detail was absolutely extraordinary and so many of the looks were absolutely timeless.
I wish I was in New York to see the McQueen exhibit at the Met--often I see the price tags of designer clothes and go "Really?! You've got to be kidding me" but workmanship that went into the Balenciaga clothes made it clear and I'm sure the McQueen exhibit is no less captivating and stunning.
Posted 16 June 2011 - 04:19 PM
The price tags are certainly outrageous, but the women who buy them can pay and indeed jacking up the price is part of the allure.
Posted 16 June 2011 - 04:56 PM
Posted 16 June 2011 - 05:52 PM
"Wimmenfolk" was intended as a bit of flippancy, not meant to distract from the point, which was that these shows are particularly appealing to women and women are great and loyal museumgoers. My apologies if it was objectionable.
Posted 16 June 2011 - 07:14 PM
But art should be exceptional, so while I enjoy a nicely cut Armani, I don't think showing it in a museum is particularly worthwhile for anyone.
Posted 16 June 2011 - 07:40 PM
Actually I think that the beautiful Balenciagas and Diors come off better in the classic Vogue and Bazaar photographs than they do on the manikans, which always look strangely assembled, have skin the texture of freshly spread stucco and seem as if they are going to topple over at any moment.
Posted 23 June 2011 - 11:29 AM
Posted 23 June 2011 - 02:10 PM
Tapestries and other fabric art is valued according to the same elements that are used to judge painting and sculpture: color, design, craftsmanship, historical significance, even utility (coverings for bare walls). If high-quality tapestry art belongs in a museum, why not beautifully fabricated garments?
The Alexander McQueen photos (linked by ksk04) are brilliant inventions which would fit very nicely into a exhibit of surrealist painters. Like Dali, for exampe, McQueen seems to have been very concerned about the importance of detail and finish, even in his wilder designs. Similarly, the Dior exhibit has richness of color and voluptuousness of shape that is shared by much of French art from rococo through romanticism to the Belle Epoque, something acknowledged by the settings provided for them by the curators of the Pushkin Museum. The Balenciaga dresses have some of the richness, simplicity of cut, austerity of form, and sober elegance as you find in the clothes worn by princes and princesses in Velazquez portraits.
All three of these designer/artists have a clear, well-thought vision that can be placed with an serious artistic tradition.
This kind of costume art strikes me as being worth preserving and displaying in great museums, even if it happens also to appeal to the frivolous among us. It's BAD, indifferently made, and essentially pointless costume art that I object to.
Posted 23 June 2011 - 03:11 PM
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