Thursday, May 18, 2017

Off-topic- Counter-Couture: Handmade Fashion

We ditched a trip to Kips Bay Showhouse in favor of popping in to the Museum of Art and Design at Columbus Circle, to see the Counter-Couture exhibit.
I still want to get in to Kips Bay, but I do not regret the last-minute change of plans.  The show at MAD was exhilarating and inspiring.  We came home dying to get new projects going.
Camille and I first stopped in to repair a roman shade on Broadway at 87th st.  We wanted a walk in the Park since it was the season's first really summery day, and came prepared with a picnic lunch from home.  Columbus Circle was walkable so we headed that way, stopping in at the formerly closed-to-the-public Hallett Sanctuary at the south end of Central Park- a springtime treat since the wildflowers were in full bloom.

MAD hosts artists-in-residence, and our first stop was Yoshi's studio on the 6th floor. His zero-waste three-dimensional weaving was mind-opening.  We were excited to immediately find this textile artist whose first question to us was, "well, what do YOU make?"  He generously shared so much information that was of interest to use about weaving, dyeing, and local sourcing of his materials.  We also found a fellow devotee of Alabama Chanin!
The Counter-Couture exhibit featured a wide variety of fabrication and embellishment styles and methods that were gaining popularity in the 60s and 70s and it's easy to trace their evolution through to current fashion and craft themes. 
There were more samples than I could possibly show here, so I'm going to run through some of my favorites. 
If you're in NYC, this exhibit is worth the trip.

John Sebastian tie-dyed his clothing himself:
Wavy Gravy wore this heavily embellished denim jumpsuit at Woodstock:
Mama Cass rocked this Virgo dress:
I completely covet these hand-painted dresses by Lee Manuel:
Crochet, anyone?  By Birgitta Bjerke.
Embroidery!- I forgot to document the name of the artist. But who didn't have a modified jeans skirt?
Crewel-style embroidered army coat by Michael Fajans:
This embroidered top by Nina Jean Carisi is typical of the sort of thing I used to wish I would make:
What we now know as Boro style, this old wood coat was mended and patched, by Barbara Ramsey, and evolved over years:
And this beauty- sorry, I photographed the name but it's too blurry to read- is embellished with beautiful fringe and beads:
Hey, I owned this exact pattern, and made this caftan several times!  Really, it's true!
Last but not least, these boots by Apple Cobbler- how I longed for boots like these:

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