MLK Day, Art Institute, and Stephen Sprouse


Cocktail, by Gerald Murphy, 1927, from Whitney Museum of American Art, via artnet Magazine

Yesterday, most of the USA was off for MLK Jr. Day, and I along with them. I spent the afternoon at the Art Institute of Chicago, mostly looking at the exhibition Art & Appetite, which was an interesting exploration of American artwork with a food theme. My favorite pieces in it were created during the 1920s and 30s. I particularly enjoyed seeing Cocktail, by Gerald Murphy, an artist who I’ve read a lot about in the Hemingway biographies and who was a character reference for F. Scott Fitzgerald in his novel Tender is the Night. Art & Appetite closes next week on January 27.

Louis Vuitton handbags and luggage featuring Stephen Sprouse graffiti print, photographed by Raymond Meier for Vogue, January 2001

But the rest of the world went on with business as usual yesterday, and Raincoast Creative Salon ran my last post for my Fashion One-Oh-One column. This time I focused on graffiti in fashion, initiated by the designer Stephen Sprouse. Head over and read all about graffiti in fashion!

I had a blast writing the six-part column for Sandra of Raincoast, and really appreciate her invitation to write for her blog throughout the last four months. If you missed any of my Fashion One-Oh-One posts on Raincoast Creative Salon, here they all are:
The Wedding Dress
Fortuny
Elsa Schiaparelli
Christian Dior’s New Look
The Paper Dress
Stephen Sprouse Graffiti Dress

1960s Paper Dress Fad

Have I told you that I love the 1960s? It’s one of my favorite decades. I’m over at Raincoast Creative Salon with another Fashion One-Oh-One post — this time on an aspect of the 1960s!


Dress, by Poster Dress, Ltd., late 1960s, from Metropolitan Museum of Art

So much changed during that decade socially and culturally, resulting in big shifts in fashion. This offers fashion historians a lot of meat to work with.

For my most recent post on Raincoast, I chose to share a bit about paper dresses — an odd fad that emerged out of the 1960s disposable culture. Head over to Raincoast Creative Salon to learn about them!

Off To Costume Society of America

Every year I look forward to this week — Costume Society of America’s national symposium. This year the symposium is taking place in Atlanta. As a fashion historian, it’s a rejuvenating time to learn more about my subject, network and socialize with like-minded individuals, and give back to the organization.

I leave today because I serve on the Board of Directors, and we have our first of many meetings tonight. The actual symposium kick off is Wednesday afternoon, even though there are many pre-symposium events taking place. It runs until Saturday and will be jam packed with lectures, panels, lunches, a keynote speaker, and a few social events. We’ll be touring the Atlanta History Center later in the week.

It’s great timing this year, because within the last couple weeks I’ve been craving some sort of educational opportunity. I was thinking about taking a summer university course, but the start of the term caught me off guard and I wasn’t quite prepared. So I’m especially looking forward to taking in all the panels and speakers I can.

If you are going to the CSA national symposium, please let me know — either in the comments, on twitter, or shoot an email to me. I would love to meet you!