Each and every piece had something about it that delighted the eye and set it apart; a design element, a fabric, a silhouette, an embellishment, a system of piecing; a sleeve here, a pocket there, a random safety pin somewhere else, and one cheeky mirrored fig leaf just where it should be.
Photos are allowed, so despite the abysmal lighting conditions we did... punch-drunk, I took photos of everything; but am just whittling it down to my absolute favourites here.
Vivienne Westwood, from the Anglomania collection of 93-94. The bias cut tartan jacket has over-sized pocket flaps, and very interesting shaping at the front achieved by a single diagonal tuck at the collarbone, into the collar.
Thierry Mugler, 92. That chocolate brown inset pocket piecing, lower front. I mean, omigod. A seamstress can but gape in awe.
Vivienne Westwood, 89-90. There's that fig leaf. Well, a mirror is always a handy thing to have on one's person...
at right, sourceComme des Garcons, 2011. terrible photo because it was in the deepest darkest corner of the gallery, but this was Cassie's favourite piece in the exhibition. Rei Kawakubo created this intricate bunchy kaleidoscope of a dress using her own silk scarves that she has personally collected over many years. It is paired with a simple pair of white sand shoes, similar to how it was styled in the runway show. This is about as feminine and glamorous as it gets in the CdG world. And absolutely wearable.
Christian Francis Roth, 91-92; that piecing... :O
Vivienne Westwood, 94; crazy woollen tweed pantaloons, with a vaguely Scarlet O'Hara-like air about them of being constructed from the furnishings of a late Victorian sitting room; tasselled edging and all. It's all about the tassels here. I love it. Ponders: could I get away with a skirt sporting a lushly tasselled hemline, in suburban Perth?
Dolce and Gabbana, 94-95; looks like cow hide, is actually constructed using animal-rights friendly rayon/cotton plush and vinyl. A simple style and silhouette; of course the novelty fabric is what makes it... lends it that cowboy/rockstar vibe that's going on. This is very very cool. Mental note; keep a look out for cow-hide plush....
Alexander McQueen, 02-03; denim jacket, raw edges, an overall lived in beaten-up appearance like a favourite pair of ancient levi's. But with structure and form, and a mass of decorative double rowed top-stitching; a nod to the flat-felled seaming that is a seam-strengthening functional feature in the aforementioned jeans..
Calvin Klein, 88; nothing head-swivelling here, but the 80's girl in me just stopped in her tracks and ohhh-ed blissfully at this point. A blousy, laid-back sportiness as expressed in a deluxe fabric. I just adore this ensemble. And I actually do already have a pattern that could step in and fit the bill here... and some shot taffeta... hmmm...
Franco Moschino, 92; I've included the picture at left from the Bendigo Advertiser since mine is pretty terrible, but this piece was Mum's favourite. We all loved the styling of the exhibit; the black and white striped, wicked-witch-of-the-east tights looked playful and edgy against the frou-frou puffs and bows of jewel-toned satin.
Tony Maticevski, 13-14; this softly sculptural, neoprene dress is the first Australian design to be acquired into the collection. Loved the complexity of this dress; formless, organic and futuristic, although we all wondered how it would go with staying on your shoulders, though. Wouldn't you just love to see the pattern for this?
From a distance I first thought that adorable little bouquet of pink and white flowers was an actual bag. It isn't, but it reminded me of one of the tea cosies designed by Loani Prior for her book "Wild Tea Cosies", from which I made quite a number of tea cosies a few years ago, and I reckon it would be pretty easy to whip this up as a pompom bag. Would be cute, no?
For some more eye candy, Yoshimi also took this wonderful picture of the Alexander McQueen 2008 peacock gown during her recent visit to the exhibition.
This is but a very small sampling of the lovelies on display, to see more whizz on over to Bendigo Art Gallery before 2nd February 2014. Fabulosity awaits.