When I go to New York, one of my must-sees is the FIT Museum. Not only does it have high quality, interesting fashion exhibits with the clothes out in the open air rather than behind glass and (in the basement) displayed so that you have a 360 view, it's free! It's only a short walk down from the fabric stores of the garment district and open on Saturdays (closed Sunday and Monday).
I wasn't disappointed this time!
The main ground level exhibition is Night & Day (through May 11), which explores the idea of different clothing for day and evening over the past 200 years or so. It has the most temporal breadth of the exhibitions. I always love seeing pre-20th century clothes just because "ooooh, old!" Also, man, those corsets. The waists on some of the dresses are minuscule. I can't get over that people managed to live past forty without being able to breathe or get blood to their organs. The exhibit was well-curated, and includes luscious accessories in addition to clothing.
The basement level exhibition was American Beauty: Aesthetics and Innovation in Fashion, which closed April 10, unfortunately. It took a geometric approach to fashion, and grouped innovative clothing according to the shapes that were used to create them, such as circles, parallelograms, triangles, etc. The clothes were not all beautiful per se, but they were interesting and innovative and it was fascinating to see how designers imposed these constraints on themselves and worked within them. I just love the basement space, as it is a single large room with a high ceiling and the museum does such an exquisite job of setting up the exhibitions.
The stealth winner in my book, though, was the exhibition of Delman shoes. Although the brand is still extant, I had never heard of it (shows where I shop!). I love shoes as much as the next girl, but because I place my highest priority on comfort (Danskos, baby) I don't always enjoy shoe exhibitions because they generally focus on the highest, most unwearable shoes ever created by men who will never wear them. This exhibit was sensational! The shoes were generally dressy and had a heel but they weren't inaccessible to the normal woman. What I couldn't get over was how contemporary they were! I had no idea our shoe trends were as recycled as our clothing. Every time I thought I had spotted the contemporary shoe (surely that brightly printed wedge is from this year...) it would turn out to be from 1943. Unfortunately, I only just managed to catch the Delman exhibition, which closed April 3. They have some info on their website.
Before I left for NYC, I had succumbed to Fabric Mart. I had been in love with the huge orange chrysanthemum print silk for a couple months and finally decided at $3.99 I couldn't pass it up. When I met up with Mikhaela, she mentioned that she had a hard time keeping the silk under control for her maternity dress. This surprised both of us as silk twill should be fairly easy to manage. When I received the fabric I understood why. Although it definitely has a twill weave, the weight and hand are like that of charmeuse. It's not going to be fun! I'm thinking Simplicity 2579 view B; a little vintagey, not too many pieces to break up the print, appropriate for a floaty silk.
The blue print seemed so familiar and appealing to me.... When I got it I realized that it's a bandana print writ large, which is kind of cute. I ordered it for Vogue 8633 after someone pointed out that it is meant to be made with a double knit (what? the crispness does not go with double knit) because Fabric Mart had it listed at 5% lycra. It's not particularly stretchy and unfortunately is a lighter weight than I expected--they say dress weight, I say more like blouse weight--but I'll give it a shot.
The orange stretch twill was $1/yd. When do you not need screaming orange stretch twill in stash? Heh. Actually, I will make a skirt out of it.
A Sewn Wardrobe asks:
Are these a backlog of projects to post or have you been extra busy lately? I hope the former, as you're making me feel very unproductive!
I haven't necessarily been posting a backlog of projects lately, but I *have* pretty much been posting as I finish things, which is unusual. I usually have so much that there's no way I can keep up! I have been so busy lately and have not had my usual amount of time to sew. I was hoping this weekend would be all me, but of course it is slowly being eroded and nibbled away by obligations and commitments to the point where I'm down to just a few hours. :( I have so many sewing plans and I want to spend uninterrupted time pursuing them!
Arnysews asks of my self-collar wrap blouse:
Does the wrap stay closed or do you need to wear a cami underneath?
Part of the reason I love this pattern is that there is no gape at the wrap! So it doesn't need a cami. However, the silk georgette of the flutter sleeve version is semi-sheer so I should probably wear a cami under it if I'm going to be in bright sunlight.
I'm sorry I don't always get a chance to answer all questions. If you have a question that is not sewing related or not of general interest (such as a hotel recommendation), and you don't have a blog where I can contact you, please leave some contact information so that I can answer you privately!
I'm a Guest Blogger on Rhonda's Creative Life
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