What I Did Yesterday!

1:30 PM

I had been dying to see "The Golden Age of Couture" exhibit every since I'd read that it was coming to the Frist Center in Nashville. I had been extremely busy for most of the summer getting Amber ready for college. And for almost every weekend since she's been at Alabama State University in Montgomery, she's been wanting to come home. It's been A LOT of driving back and forth for Michael and I. I was in awe that something so fabulous was within driving distance from my home. I made it a priority to see this exhibit before it left, because today is the last day.

The required shot in front of the sign!
What is "The Golden Age of Couture", I'm sure some of you may be asking? It was the period in fashion history that begin in 1947, that celebrated the end of World War II and the birth of a new [fashion] era. This new decade began with the launch of Christian Dior's New Look that set a standard for dressmaking and high fashion. "The Golden Age" was brought to an end in 1957 with Dior's death.
From this point, cameras and cellphones were prohibited inside of the galleries. I had to take quick notes and dog ear pages in the exhibition guide to remember what I liked. I'm using pictures from HERE , HERE and HERE to help with the visuals so you guys will see just how FABULOUS this exhibition was!

There were so many breathtaking garments that I felt completely overwhelmed. But I'd like to show you first my favorite dress there:

Hubert de Givenchy - "Les Muguets" (Lily of the Valley) Evening Dress (1955 - Paris)
Silk organdie embroidered with sequins

The pictures do not do this dress justice. It was simply incredible to look at. All of the rich detailing was amazing! This was one that I really wish I could have seen the inside. I would have loved to see the foundation. And from the outside, there appeared to be about a 3 inch hem.

Jean Dessès - "Afternoon Dress" for Princess Margaret (1951 - Paris)
Silk, silk and nylon net, and a metal zipper

image source

The bias cut pleated bodice along with the full skirt is simply impeccable! As Rachel Zoe would say, "I die!" And even though this dress is from 1951, it could EASILY be worn in 2010!

Christian Dior - "Pérou" Evening Dress (Autumn/Winter 1954-55 Paris)
Silk satin, the dress was embroidered with gilt and silver metal thread

The description said that the embroidery is "heavy and dense" and why the dress was made as a short evening dress. And it took 600 hours to complete! Credit must be given to Brossin de Méré, who did all of the work! This is another one that looked absolutely amazing in person.

Christian Dior "Bosphore" Short Evening Dress (Autumn/Winter 1956 Paris)
Silk velvet, embroidered by Rébé with pearls, gold thread and cabolochons

As you can tell, I was drawn to a lot of the beaded and embroidered dresses. I was completely captivated by all of the detailed work.

And then there was tailoring...

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel "Three-piece Suit" (Mid-1950s Paris)
Tweed and jersey

This suit was part of Chanel's comeback collection in 1954. She challenged the "excesses of couture".
"Femininity had gone too far -- you needed stagecoach luggage to pack your frocks in and ladies' maids to fix the trimmings and petticoats. Chanel simplified clothes to meet modern needs."
- Pat Cunningham, editor of Vogue
Tailored Suits by Cristóbal Balenciaga
(from left to right) Tweed lined with taffeta and silk (Autumn/Winter, 1951); Tweed lined with silk (Autumn/Winter, 1954) and Tweed with coiled metal buttons (Autumn/Winter, 1954).

And for kicks...

Miss Virginia Lachasse
This doll was used by the Lachasse couture house to show the type of wardrobe a couture client would usually have. It included lingerie, accessories, jewelry and the tiniest pair of nylon stockings I've ever seen!

This exhibition was wonderful and I feel as if I've had a course in fashion history! And for a keepsake, I'm ordering the coffee table book from Amazon.com!

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