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Fashion Exhibition at the Western Reserve Historical Society

May 15, 2014
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Pierre Cardin introduced the bubble silhouette in 1954. Sarah Sato wore this lively version to a spring opening night performance of the Metropolitan Opera in Cleveland.

If you live in or near Cleveland, Ohio, or will be in town before the end of May, be sure to visit the Western Reserve Historical Society’s “Dior & More: For the Love of Fashion” exhibition. Time is of the essence, as the exhibition closes on May 24; we just learned about this exhibit ourselves through a tip from Threads contributing editor Louise Cutting, who reports that this exhibition is showing some of the most beautiful garments she’s ever seen.

“Dior & More: For the Love of Fashion” exhibition, Western Reserve Historical Society

Evening dress, Pierre Cardin, Paris, ca. 1977

Ivory silk and ramie plain weave with green foliate print and green silk satin ribbon.

Worn by Sarah Nakagawa Sato (Mrs. Sam I. Sato), gift of Dr. and Mrs. Sam I. Sato, 96.4.2

“Dior & More” draws on 40 of the historical society’s collection of luxury ready-to-wear garments designed by several prominent designers to provide an intimate look at women’s changing lifestyles from the turn of the 20th century to the 1980s through fashion. The garments–designed by Christian Dior, Jacques Fath, Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, and Callot Soeurs, among others–are displayed in groups organized by time of day. If you can’t make it to the exhibit before its closing, you can view a behind-the-scenes video tour on YouTube.

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“Dior & More: For the Love of Fashion” exhibition, Western Reserve Historical Society

Day suit, Christian Dior, Paris, Fall/Winter 1950-51

Brown wool twill with brown leather belt.

Made for Mary Peters Bolton (Mrs. Kenyon C. Bolton), gift of Mrs. Kenyon C. Bolton, 86.64.42

“Dior & More: For the Love of Fashion” exhibition, Western Reserve Historical Society

Dinner dress, Callot Soeurs, Paris, ca. 1904

Beige silk plain weave, resist-dyed in purple with brocaded velvet, beige cotton Punto in Aria lace, blue silk velvet ribbon, dark blue silk chiffon, and diamanté buttons.

Made for Annie Monroe Pitcairn (Mrs. Hugh Pitcairn), gift of Mrs. David W. Frackelton, 74.96.16

The Western Reserve Historical Society holds more than 25,000 garments in its costume archive. The exhibition is displayed in the WRHS’s History Center in Cleveland’s University Circle. The Chisholm Halle Costume Wing hosts several fashion exhibitions through the year. For information on the WRHS and future exhibits, visit www.wrhs.org.

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