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Exhibit at Costume institute

Sarah_Kayla | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

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I went to the exhibit “Extreme Beauty” at the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute yesterday. The exhibit focuses on how fashion over the centuries has fetishized various body parts.

Go see this exhibit. There is some pretty amazing stuff to see. Yes some of it is just plain weird but some amazing fabrics, astounding use of fabrics and blow you out of the water techniques. There is a catalog available but seeing the clothes up clkose is just no substitute.

A further FYI – one of New York’s best Consignment shops is just a block away from the museum, Encore on Madison Avenue @ 84th, upstairs from Schweitzer’s Linens. It is almost worth a trip to New York just for this place. Seeing and trying on clothes that normally cost in the thousands of dollars is quite wonderful. (I nearly bought an Escada micro-pleated long black skirt – but couldn’t justify the $85 pricetag. It looked and felt so good. I knew that I could live without the saphire blue plunging necklined randolph duke for $60 even though i would have had to invest at least that in underclothing to fit underneath) Encore has a new next door neighbor – BIS that also carries top of the line stuff.

The best of the designer stuff shows great minds at work with details so lovely they could make you cry. On the other hand, some other designers clearly spend most of their money on advertising and skimp on workmanship. Calvin Klein and donna Karan are the worst offenders in this respect.

Zoran (no advertising budget at all) is simply astounding.

Sarah

Replies

  1. karen_morris_ | | #1

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    Sarah, i must find a way to get to NYC to see this show. It sounds wonderful. And i'm happy to hear you say this about Zoran...he pretty much singlehandedly inspired my budding knitwear design business back in 1981, and i've always loved his elegant simplicity.

    1. Sarah_Kayla | | #2

      *Hey, everyone should visit to help the limping tourist economy. Yes, the air is fine in most places (except right by ground zero). I believe that even the astronimic hotel prices have dropped. The weather has been balmy, 60's most days. And besides, there is fabric in this city tht is not to be believed. If you come we could even have coffee.... or scope out the best of the consignment stores....Sarah

      1. karen_morris_ | | #3

        *I'd like that. I'll let you know when I can get myself there.

        1. Ghillie_C | | #4

          *Thanks for this Sarah! I plan to be in New York in late January. This is a regular trip for my husband and we are not easily deterred. Yes, from our researches on the Web the hotel prices have dropped. We have not booked flights yet, but they are pretty cheap from the UK anyway. Will the exhibition still be on then?Cheers,Ghillie

          1. Sarah_Kayla | | #5

            *Dear ghillie -The following is from the Met's website:By the way, are there other places you want to be sure to see??? Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed December 6, 2001–March 17, 2002 The Costume Institute, ground floor Over time and across cultures, extraordinary manipulations of the body have occurred in a continuing evolution of the concept of beauty. This exhibition will offer a unique opportunity to see fashion as the practice of some of the most extreme strategies to conform to shifting concepts of the physical ideal. Various zones of the body—neck, shoulders, bust, waist, hips, and feet—have been constricted, padded, truncated, or extended through subtle visual adjustments of proportion, less subtle prosthesis, and often deliberate physical deformation. Costumes in the exhibition—ranging from a 16th-century-style iron corset to Jean Paul Gaultier's notorious “Madonna” bustier—will be augmented by anthropological and ethnographic examples and by paintings, prints, and drawings, including caricatures by Cruikshank, Daumier, Rowlandson, and Vernet. Accompanied by a catalogue. Visit the online Met Store for related publications, reproductions, and other products. View images from this exhibition. Learn more about this exhibition. Home | The Collection | Special Exhibitions | Explore & Learn | Calendar | The Met Store | Guestbook | Events & Programs | Educational Resources | Membership | Support the Met | Visitor Information | News from the Met | Site Index Photograph Credits Copyright © 2001 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions.

          2. Ghillie_C | | #6

            *Dear Sarah,What do you suggest I see? This will be my third time in New York, so I know my way around just a little and have visited the Garment District (though I will be going back). We will have a fair number of engagements with American colleagues, so it won't all be shopping. Cheers,Ghillie

          3. Sarah_Kayla | | #7

            *The Metropolitan Museaum is always worth a good long time. The Guggenheim (20th century art) and the Whitney (American mostly this century) are worth visiting too. I would go to the fancy second hand stores along with the visit to the costume institute, much of the clothing is the same quality as in the museum. Try Encore @ Madison and 84th and their next door neighbor, BIS. Both are on the second floor. Encore is upstairs from Schweitzer's linens. What I would suggest would depend on your needs and interests. ABC carpet & home in Chelsea is filled with completely over the top home dec. I go into sensory overload as soon as I walk in the door. I would go to Zabar's or Fairway to get great take away food. And to get Jewish deli classics like good smoked salmon. I would eat at barney Greengrass if you wanted an old fashioned Jewish Dairy restaurant experience (west 86th @ Amsterdam).It was last redecorated in about 1920 but it is really clean. I would eat at Lutece for amazing French food. I would take the Staten Island Ferry. I would go to the bookstore at FIT to find serious books on clothing design. I would go to Pearl Paint to buy Art supplies. I would go to Pearl River department store in China Town to buy tchotchkas from China.I would have tea in the Palm Court of the Plaza Hotel. I would buy knishes at Yona Schimmel on Houston Street. I wopuld walk around the Cathedral of St John the divine m& visit their lovely gift shop. I would eat turkish food in the funky Turkish place in my neighborhood, Turkaz (Broadway @ 100th). I would go to Coney Island and walk on the Boardwalk in the snow. I would go to a Russian nightclub in Brighton Beach. I would eat at La Caridad (Broadway @ 78th) for terrific cheap Cuban food. I would walk the length of Central Park. I would walk along the Hudson River in Riverside park. I would walk the length of West End Avenue and look into all of the lobbies - some of them have Tiffany Windows and other goodies. I woud go into St Michael's church on Amsterdam & 99th - the interior is entirely by Tiffany - It is completely unknown by tourists and barely known by folks in the neighborhood. I would take the M4 bus for it's entire route for a great tour (Up madison Avenue across 100th Street to the Cloisters) I would take the M5 bus down town from the Upper West Side. I would walk up broadway or 5th avenue from the Village until I was no longer able to walk. There is no shortage of great stuff to do. Some of it is expensive and some is free or nearly so. Buy an Unlimited Metro card for the time you are here and hop on and off the busses & subways all day (It is the cost of four rides a day and worth it for every tourist.) On the weekends go to the 26th street flea market (26th & seventh avenue).HAVE fun - and feel free to ask more specific questions.Sarah

          4. Ghillie_C | | #8

            *Gosh, Sarah,You went into overdrive then! I knew of a few of the things you mentioned but not many and I will be trying some of them. The curious thing is the American friends we meet up with seem to get a bit bewildered in New York and look to US to entertain THEM! I already have some theatre tickets, but not a hotel or plane tickets - you have to get your priorities right.Incidentally, anyone who can handle London or Paris finds New York a pretty easy and friendly place to get around and if anyone wants to experience one of the really grand hotels, now is your chance. Some have dropped their prices a long way. I think we will stay somewhere more modest however, even if there are less bargains to be had, they are still cheaper. Cheers,Ghillie

          5. Sarah_Kayla | | #9

            *Dear Ghillie -Really enjoy your trip.One thing I realized when I moved to New York is that is isn't really a city but a series of villages that overlap eachother. I think that the tourist brochures just tell you the boring things to do. There is so much more this city offers.I would love to know what you decided to do. Enjoy your trip!!Sarah

          6. Ghillie_C | | #10

            *Hi Sarah and everyone,I am back from New York after an exhausting week. There was a little snow lying when we arrived, but by the time we left it had warmed up so much that people were walking in the streets without coats on - no coats! in January! in New York!I tramped many, many miles round the streets, mostly just looking, but the day the Staten Island Ferry was scheduled rained so hard that I holed up in the Metropolitan Museum after thoroughly road testing my home made Goretex raincoat (it passed).The clothes in the Extreme Beauty exhibition were indeed amazing, though I am inclined to applaud the un-named seamstresses who got these extraordinary shapes to work as much as the designers. The Museum of Modern Art was a big disappointment, being almost entirely shut for various re-organisations and re-building. I shall not go back until they have got it thoroughly sorted.In the Garment District Poli's got the most money out of me this time, with silk/lycra charmeuse, a fine English wool (English! why can't I buy it back home?)and a suit length of dark inky green camel hair, which looks like cashmere but was a fraction of the price. I also visited Mood, a store on a tenth floor new to me, but I will not be going back. With no kind of order and nothing labelled, there was more chaos here than I care to handle.We went to two Operas - much cheaper than London and wonderful performances - and a concert at Carnegie Hall. Just hearing the huge noise the orchestra made tuning up reminded me of the superb acoustics!We also attended a lecture on historic American newspapers. I was already familiar with the English equivalents, but these show amazing inventiveness in the use of the limiting technology to produce illustrations that are both arresting and informative. Don't miss a chance to see any that come your way. There was high security everywhere, but we Brits are used to that. In fact a young English woman who triggered the X-ray machine at Kennedy airport blamed her underwired bra and volunteered to take it off, right there. They declined her offer! I only had to remove my shoes.So now I am back home with worn out feet and a fattened stash having not got round to half the things I intended to do. Well, there is always next time.Cheers,Ghillie

          7. Sarah_Kayla | | #11

            *Dear Ghillie -So glad you had fun in my home town. Where is Mood? I've never heard of it. Sometimes I can handle the visual chaos, other times I need the order of Poli, Paron or B&J. The weather here has been entirely topsy turvy. I was out this morning in a denim jacket - we have also had really frigid weather. Today is supposed to turn cold. I think I have managed to dress each of my kids so they will be uncomfortable to at least part of the day. My little one who leaves the house first is wearing a down jacket. My daughter is in a heavy wool and my middle guy is in a windbreaker. There are days when I tell my kids, " It doesn't matter what you wear today, you will be entirely uncomfortable at some point. Just decide if you would rather be too warm or too cold"let me know when you come back... maybe we could de coffee...Sarah

          8. karen_morris_ | | #12

            *Ghillie, thanks for sharing your New York trip with us. I just realized YOU'RE the one with the Goretex raincoat (from the 'what are you making' thread)!! I'm glad it functioned well and kept you dry.You traveled to NYC all the way from England, and I still haven't made it to the Extreme Beauty show from Boston. I guess I've got another month or so left....I'm not wearing coats in Boston, either. Does this mean we'll have snow in April? Oh, Sarah, Mood Designer Fabric Outlet is at 250 West 39th St., 10th floor (bet. Broadway & 8th); 212-730-5003. Yes, this store is truly messy, Ghillie, but they do have a lot of great stuff if you have time to poke around (or they did--I haven't been there lately).

          9. Sarah_Kayla | | #13

            *The show closes March 17. See it. See it. see it.sarah

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