Thursday, July 21, 2016

New York City à la Dorée, Part Two: Fashion Exhibitions, the Garment District and "Street"

 New York's museums are world class, and this was certainly evident during my visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).

At the "Met," I went to Andrew Bolton's show in the Costume Institute called "Manus X Machina." It explored the intersection of hand and machine work in fashion design with many amazing examples.

The show opened with this wedding gown, with the explanation following:

In this garment, it's hard to tell what was done by hand, and what done by machine!

Here are two Dior gowns from 1952-3, machine sewn and hand finished:

I didn't note the creators of these magnificent gowns:

This Proenza Schuler dress fabric was created with sequins glued on end instead of flat!

And this Iris van Herpen fabric is made from iron filings on neoprene (scuba diving fabric) dusted with dried enamel paint:

Gareth Pugh made these dresses from 3000 plastic drinking straws, each cut individually by hand. There was a swishy rustle when they were worn:

In a section devoted to pleats, two gowns from the 50's by Madame Gres were contrasted by Iris van Herpen's pleats created by a digital 3-D printer. The material is goatskin, believe it or not!

Following are three examples of laser-cut "new" lace:
Proenza Schuler

Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen

Raf Simmons for Dior

Check out this dress by Junya Watanabe:
Machine sewn, heat molded polyester satin---what inventiveness!

The show at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Museum was called "Uniformity," and explored the relationship between uniforms and fashion.

Army jackets become street clothes. On the left is a Marc Jacobs.

Vera Maxwell "speed dress:" "Just pull it on," she instructed.

Oscar de la Renta and Jean Paul Gautier play around with sailor uniforms.

Karl Lagerford (Chanel) did a riff on a French brasserie waiter's uniform.

And finally:
From a World War I army uniform.I want to try to make this!!!

In the garment district, I visited fabric stores, and had a visual and tactile feast.

Next I went to the made-famous-by-Project-Runway Mood Fabrics. I took a picture of the store mascot, Swatch:
He's not very lively these days....

Finally, the real entertainment in New York comes from The Street. Here are my photos, a poor homage to the late and great Bill Cunningham, street photographer extraordinaire. He passed away a few weeks ago, age 87, after photographing street style for The New York Times for 33 years!

The famous department store Bergdorf Goodman devoted a window to Bill Cunningham's memory, corner of 5th Ave. and 57th Street.

On the way to the Church Street subway in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

In DUMBO, "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass"

Another DUMBO view: framing the Empire State Building!

Finally, a series of REAL NY "street." Enjoy!

In the subway

The End!

New York City à la Dorée, Part One: Shows, Walks, and Signs

July 12-15 I tore myself away from my garden to drive to NYC with Donna.

While Donna drove, I could do this!

We stayed in two Airbnb places in Brooklyn, where we knew there would be a parking space. The first night was spent in a full apartment with an absent owner, and the second was a beautiful room and bath---both 1/3 the regular hotel prices!

We also saw two Broadway musicals, "Fun Home," and "Shuffle Along." In both productions the leading ladies were unfortunately replaced by understudies, but it being Broadway, the standard was high high HIGH, so we were not disappointed. Both plays were very moving, and I have linked both titles above to Wikipedia descriptions.
"Fun Home" theater-in-the-round when we arrived...

...and after it filled up (panorama shot).

We wanted to make sure that we did two significant walks. The first was crossing the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan, which we did Wednesday, July 13, at about 9:30 A.M.
There is a pedestrian walkway/bike path with no cars. Donna starts off, with the piers of the bridge right above her head.

Getting closer...

On the bridge with explanatory signs. Signs were one of my favorite parts of New York.

With New York's finest---I couldn't resist.

A truly magnificent walk.

 View of the Manhattan Bridge and Manhattan.

Manhattan skyline.

The second walk we took the next day was along the High Line. This is an old elevated railway line, which has been turned into a dreamy park. One traverses it, surrounded by indigenous plants on the path, and lower Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood all around.

At the beginning.

The newest section of the High Line is quite gritty and industrial.

Curving around....

There are many benches, many flowers in bloom (coneflowers/echinacea here) and a lot of construction. Soon the High Line will traverse a canyon of buildings.

The plantings are inspired! Much of it was paid for by Tiffany and Co. Foundation--turning NY parks into jewels.

There were many artworks along the way. This sleepwalker was actually made of bronze, but I was fooled at first.

The end of the High Line is in what is known as "the Meatpacking District." Here are the remains of packed meat, about to continue its journey to become---cat food?

Following is a collection of street signs which I found amusing.
I'm not sure what this was about, but I stared at it for quite a while.

I thought this company had a great name, and as I watched, a huge amount of water came out of the rear of the truck, so it looked like it was peeing. Hilarious! Couldn't stop laughing.

The meaning is obvious, but it's still original.

On the High Line. Patently false.

OK, this isn't a sign. Taken in DUMBO, "down under Manhattan Bridge Overpass."

This is the end of Part One.