Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What's on the Fashion Calendar for March?

The worlds of fashion and art have collided and there seem to be an unprecedented number of promising exhibitions on the calendar.

Worth Evening Gown and shoe by Isabelle de Borchgrave 2004
Photo by Andreas von Einsiedel
Courtesy of the Legion of Honor

Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave recently opened at the Legion of Honor Museum of Fine Arts in San Francisco. In this exhibition, over 60 paper sculptures from the studio of Isabelle de Borchgrave depict the history of costume. Taking inspiration from paintings, photographs, sketches and museum collections, this artist paints and manipulates paper to look like fabric, which is then styled into the dress silhouettes of the past.  I recall seeing her work in a show called Papier a la Mode at the Royal Ontario Museum  and I've been a fan ever since. In fact, I often revisit her exquisite work inside the beautiful book Paper Illusions, The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave. 

In Los Angeles, the Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915 exhibition at LACMA will close at the end of the month. This exhibition examines the changes in fashionable dress over a period of  two hundred years and considers the evolution in textiles, tailoring techniques, and trimmings in the presentation of the museum's relatively recent acquisition of a major European collection. With an incredibly beautiful book filled with breath-taking photos, I'm almost breathless with anticipation at finally getting there.

Also in Los Angeles is the unpretentious FIDM museum where there is an exhibition of  the 19th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design . The Academy award winning costumes from Alice in Wonderland by Collen Atwood are included in the exhibition as are costumes from The Kings' Speech, The Kids are Alright, The Tempest and other movies from 2010.

Installation shot of Punk Garments, 1977-78
From Zandra Rhodes: a life in textiles
Photo by Anthony Scoggins
Courtesy of the Mingei Museum
And of course, there is the exhibition of Zandra Rhodes: A Lifelong Affair with Textiles at the Mingei Museum. This iconic textile artist, fashion designer and costumer will be speaking about her opera costume and set design work on March 19th in San Diego.

Textiles are the first step of the process of creation for designer Yoji Yamamoto.  He once said "Fabric is everything". Using a variety of traditional Japanese techniques and other more common weaves such as gabardine and tweed, Yamamoto has all his fabrics made in Japan to his own specifications. He became internationally renowned for his unconventional designs that incorporate unusual pattern cutting and often seem oversized, unfinished, non-gender specific, or constructed out of non-traditional fabrics like felt or neoprene.  Yoji Yamamoto retrospective at Victoria and Albert Museum opens March 12.

So many places to be, so little time....