I love to think of the history behind vintage clothing and accessories. I try to imagine the people and come up with a vision of who wore the pieces as well as guess what they might have been doing back in the day. It was inevitable that I should find myself in New York at the Brooklyn Museum as well as the Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan. A very kind person sent me a booklet (you know who you are) apprising me of the show in Brooklyn and then Vogue had an article about the display at the Met so I decided to pop up to see both shows. I was able to indulge myself once again in some of my favorite passions - fashion, clothing, friends and food.
The first stop was the Brooklyn Museum where I was thrilled to see the clothing up close and personal; the collections were comprised of designers that I had not heard of before as well as some that I have read about over the years. There were beautiful "four-leaf clover" dresses by Charles James that were wonderful, as well as pieces by Schiaparelli, Chanel, Balenciaga, Charles Frederick Worth, etc. etc.! The fabrics, the draping, the colors, the lace were a feast for the eyes. I kept thinking I should run back home and put on something a bit finer than I had on :) The beauty of these pieces were in the tucks, pleats, buttons, hand-stitching and the careful attention to detail, line and form.
The dresses on display began with the late 1800's (and sheesh, did the ladies have some itty bitty waists back then; they almost seemed unreal they were so tiny) and went forward through the 1980's.
It was great that the museum let you take some pictures as long as you did not use a flash. There were fabulous shoes and hats as well. They had a green velvet hat worn by Scarlett in Gone with the Wind that had rooster feet as an adornment on the top! (The guard said that there were about 7 or 8 of that hat made back in 1939 for the film).
I also took a few minutes to visit the Andy Warhol exhibit which was an additional treat.
That evening we had drinks with friends at Prime Meats where I enjoyed an "aviator", a rather innovative, tasty cocktail. After that we went right next door to Frankie's for dinner. I tried out Frankie's last year over the Christmas holidays and it was just as good this time around; Fresh, fresh food, prepared with love.
On Sunday we were off to the Met where we got free parking a block and a half away in the shade! I know...too perfect. The American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity was also brilliant. It was quite a bit different than the Brooklyn showing but both were delightful in their own way. No photos were allowed here so that was disappointing but so be it. There was a book about the clothing but some of my favorite pieces did not make the cut such as the art deco dresses and coats produced by Liberty of London.
The Brooklyn show ended at the beginning of August but the clothing at the Met is on display until the 15th of August.