Louis Vuitton Costume Fantasy

Need a minute and a half escape? Let’s all get lost in this dreamy video: “Director’s Cut L’Invitation au Voyage – Venice from Louis Vuitton with David Bowie and Arizona Muse.”

Friday File

This was a long week, and I’m feeling under the weather now. I need to rest to recover from this bug. I wouldn’t mind it if there was time to go pumpkin hunting either but first I need to get over this sore throat.

Here are the cool things I found around the web:

Dennison's Bogie Book, 1920, from The Library of Congress on Internet Archive

Have you started thinking about your Halloween costume? I love this Halloween party guide book from 1920.

There may be more old luxury fashion houses reopened in the future, despite my annoyance with this trend.

Lisa, on the blog Privilege, breaks down what she sees as emerging trends in 2013.

Research suggests that people perform their most creative work in the morning, so this trick may help you get the most out of your creativity.

A zoo in the UK has banned animal-print clothing so that it does not confuse the animals.

This perspective on time blew my mind.

Have a great weekend!

I Want Candy – a Marie Antoinette tribute video

Yesterday, my friend Brenna, an independent art and fashion historian, shared this entertaining tribute video to Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. An acquaintance of Brenna’s and her friends filmed it while staying at Chateau de Pys in the south of France. Brenna asked, “why wouldn’t you make a music video when dressed in 18th century costumes in a French villa? I ask you!”

I have to agree. There is no reason not to.


Riccardo Tisci Costumes a Ballet in Lace and Tulle

I am dying over these images of Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci’s costumes for the ballet Boléro. The design recently released to the media shows a unisex ballet costume that blurs traditional gender norms.

The ballet costume consists of a skin-tone cat suit embroidered with white lace in the design of a human skeleton and a dress of nude tulle over top. The costumes are supposed to capture both darkness and romanticism.

In Women’s Wear Daily, Tisci said, “Boléro is all about intensity. The music has such an intense feeling. I wanted the dancers to feel naked somehow. They shed several layers as they dance just like the life cycle of animals, or flowers losing their petals. They become these moving skeletons, strong and fragile at the same time.”

Boléro was choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet for Opéra Garnier in Paris. The artist Marina Abramovic designed the black and suspended mirror panel set and scenography. It runs until June 3.

A Post-Downton Distraction

image from Downton Abbey Season 3 Christmas episode, from The Jane Austen Film Club. SPOILERS IN THE LINK

Who else felt like they were punched in the gut after Sunday’s Downton Abbey? I promise no spoilers here, and ask everyone to please not leave any in the comments. But at this point it’s no secret that the ending left pretty much everyone distraught. I am starting to wish the show ended after three seasons like originally planned instead of continuing on for a fourth. Sigh.

After Downton ended, I noticed a preview for a new British period drama, Mr. Selfridge. I couldn’t really concentrate on it because I was in shock, but yesterday I looked that preview up online. I’m intrigued.

image from Mr. Selfridges, from The Arts Desk. SPOILERS IN THE LINK

Mr. Selfridge is about the founding of the British department store Selfridges during the late Edwardian Era. From the brief glances in the preview, it seems the costuming and hair look pretty good (maybe a little too much noticeable makeup), and it promises to be a gossipy drama.

It also reminded me that I have been meaning to read The Ladies’ Paradise, written by Émile Zola. The novel tells about the innovations of French department stores in the mid-nineteenth century.

Mr. Selfridge premieres in the United States in March on PBS. I’m looking forward to a new period drama to distract me from Downton‘s Season 3 ending. What do you think of this preview?

Exhibition File – Rudolf Nureyev: A Life in Dance

costumes worn by Rudolf Nureyev, from the CNCS/Rudolf Nureyev Foundation, photos by Pascal François

I urge everyone in the San Francisco area to rush out to today’s exhibition file show because it closes Sunday! Rudolf Nureyev: A Life in Dance at the de Young Museum sounds wonderful to me because I love the ballet.

The exhibition centers on Nureyev’s life and work. He was a legendary ballet dancer and choreographer originally from the Soviet Union who later defected to France. Nureyev performed with the great Margot Fonteyn, Noella Pontois, and others. The show contains more than 80 costumes with 50 supplemental photographs. They come from Nureyev’s personal collection, now entrusted to the Centre national du costume de scène in France, and loans from active ballet companies.

The exhibition’s website notes that “the costumes on view expose the wear and tear of daily use.” I think it would be fascinating to see what parts of a garment took the most abuse during dance performances and practices. That kind of information would be extremely useful to current costume and fashion designers in their own creative design problems.

Regardless if you are able to take in the romance of the ballet through this exhibition or not, I hope all of you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Address: de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9:30-5:15
Admission: adults $10, seniors $7, youths 13-17 + college students $6, children under 13 + members free
Website: deyoung.famsf.org/deyoung/exhibitions/rudolf-nureyev-life-dance

Historic Rockettes

Things are nuts right now. Are they the same for you? It feels like it is all go, go, go without any down time, and it will be that way until after Christmas. On top of that, it is still hard to wrap my brain around Friday’s tragedy.

Rockettes in circle formation, via Fashionista, courtesy Rockettes

Fashionista had a wonderful and insightful post last week on the history of the Rockettes’ costumes with a slideshow that I highly recommend. While I’m swamped over here, check it out!

Exhibition File – Katharine Hepburn Dressed for Stage and Screen

I love Katharine Hepburn and her strong sense of style. The exhibition Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, organized by the Kent State University Museum for the New York Public Library, celebrates her “rebel chic” attire.

The show contains both personal garments and costumes designed by Valentina, Howard Greer, Cecil Beaton, Irene, Walter Plunkett, and others. Also included are sketches, film stills, posters, playbills, and costume research.

It sounds delightful, but you don’t have all the time in the world to see it. Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen closes January 12.

Address: Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY
Hours: Monday 10-8, Tuesday 1-8, Wednesday 10-8, Thursday 1-8, Saturday 10-2
Admission: free
Website: www.nypl.org/events/exhibitions/katharine-hepburn-dressed-stage-and-screen

Exhibition File – Dance Works III

In 1997, two avant-garde artists — Merce Cunningham and Rei Kawakubo — collaborated on the dance Scenario. Cunningham, a modern dance master, choreographed the piece, while Kawakubo, who designs the conceptual fashion line Comme des Garçon, had free reign to create the costumes and stage design.

A new exhibition at the Walker Art Center examines this collaboration. The show, called Dance Works III: Merce Cunningham / Rei Kawakubo, contains Kawakubo’s costumes, rehearsal and performance photographs, interviews with dancers, runway footage, and the original electronic score.

The opportunity to study how these two artists worked together sounds incredible. Don’t miss this show if you are near Minneapolis! It closes March 24, 2013.

Address: 1750 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hours: Tuesday-Wednesday 11-5, Thursday 11-9, Friday-Sunday 11-5
Admission: adults $10, seniors $8, students $6, children and members free
Website: www.walkerart.org/calendar/2012/dance-works-iii-merce-cunningham-rei-kawakubo#

Newport Vintage Dance Week

I thought Bill Cunningham’s video post this week was really fun to watch. It features this year’s Newport Vintage Dance Week, and I loved seeing all the reproduction (at least I always hope they are reproduction — that’s the museum person in me) ensembles in the context of those gorgeous mansions.

I wish I could go to this. Alas it was the last one. Does anyone know why?

So go watch and enjoy!