If you are a fashion researcher, student or simply a curious wanderer in the world of beautifully haute couture made garments, then the High Style exhibition is definitely a must see if you happen to be in the San Francisco Bay Area. The exhibition will run from March 14–July 19, 2015 at the Legion of Honor Museum.
High Style, a landmark exhibition of fashion masterworks from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, traces the evolution of fashion from 1910 to 1980 by some of the most influential American and European fashion designers.
High Style is made possible by the collection-sharing partnership initiated in 2009 by the Brooklyn Museum, and established the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Brooklyn Collection, now a part of the Met’s Costume Institute, includes the most comprehensive assemblage anywhere of pieces by American fashion designers, and the definitive holdings of Charles James designs and archival materials.
The exhibition displays 65 mannequins dressed in a wide range of pieces, alongside 35 accessories, including hats and shoes, and related fashion sketches. Brilliant gowns can be observed from French couture houses, including designs by Christian Dior, Jeanne Lanvin, Madeleine Vionnet, and the iconoclastic surrealist designer, Elsa Schiaparelli.
Also with a focus on the American women designers and pioneers, such as Bonnie Cashin, Elizabeth Hawes, and Claire McCardell, and their male counterparts, including Norman Norell, Mainbocher, and Gilbert Adrian, and their work from the 1930s through the 1950s, you’ll receive great insight into understanding the very origins of American culture in fashion and its evolution until the 21st century contemporary designers who now are able to focus on both contemporary ready-to-wear collections as well as new and upcoming talents.
My personal favorite part of the exhibition was devoted to British-born designer, Charles James. It showcased 25 objects, nine ensembles, 12 sketches, and five prototype muslins that illuminate the technical mastery behind James’s highly constructed gowns. His four leaf dress certainly leaves the crowd in awe of how any designer, or human being per se, could precisely understand moulage in an almost architectural and engineered prototype before assembling layers over layers to create the final project.
If you are looking for a relaxing experience after the exhibition, head to the café and enjoy their Charles James quiche on the patio on a sunny day this spring or summer. Finish up with a visit to the Museum Store where beautiful silk and wool blend scarves, as well as books from the exhibit, are sold. An unforgettable experience for yourself and a great gift idea for friends and loved ones.
Legion of Honor Museum.
Lincoln Park, 34th Avenue & Clement Street, San Francisco Open 9:30 a.m.–5:15 p.m. Tuesdays–Sundays; open select holidays; closed most Mondays
To contact the organizers of High Style exhibition, please follow up with Erin Garcia, the Assistant Director of Communications for the MET or Ken Garcia, the Director of Government and Community Affairs.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Assistant Director of Communications
tel: 415.750.8904 cell: 510.364.1304
Director of Government and Community Affairs
tel: 415.750.3616 cell: 415.513.3557
This exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
The Estate of Merrill and Hedy Thruston
The Diana Dollar Knowles Fund