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Posts Tagged ‘de Young Museum’

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This quintessential hippie look is not usually my style but I was immediately drawn to it, particularly the denim skirt. I think perhaps because of my recent adventure into sewing, I see clothing a little differently.

IMG_20170406_184212208I’m inspired by the idea of reuse and patching denim pieces to create something new. But even more exciting to me is the exposed hand stitching in various bright colors. There is something very charming about that.

In our modern era of massed produced fast fashion it’s exciting to see handcrafted clothing that people took time with and cared about.

Find some Summer of Love favorites for yourself at The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll on now through August 20, 2017 at the de Young Museum, San Francisco.

Be there or be square!

 

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This is a suede coat in maroon from 1970. Suede was really popular back then, used for coats, vests, and handbags.

I love the color and the trim fit makes it super chic. The details are sharp – note the tucked shoulders and wide lapels in a contracting neutral color.

The coat is paired with what was called at the time, decorated denim. It was the done thing to piece together various denim swatches creating a new look. Beads, patches, and embroidery were also used. The pant leg hems are left raw, which is a trend happening today, as is decorated denim but we’re calling it embellished.

One of the aspects of fashion that I’m attracted to in this era is the use of vintage. There was a mixing up of styles from past decades including the 1920s, as we see here with the cloche hat. I like the creativity and uniqueness of combining modern with vintage.

Come back tomorrow for another favorite look from The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll.

 

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Sporting pink flowers in an up-swept hairdo, Dede Wilsey, San Francisco Arts Museums Board Chair shared her memories of The Summer of Love in opening remarks to the press for the preview of The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll.

“I was an infant at the time but extremely sophisticated,” she said with a wink in her voice. Mrs. Wilsey arrived in San Francisco as a young adult in 1965, when, she says, Haight-Ashbuy was more pure in spirit with no homeless and no crime. Young people gathered “… sitting in the sun with flowers in their hair soaking it all up.” You could go to the famous corner and get your picture taken to send home, perhaps to rather worried parents.

San Francisco is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love and the de young Museum is offering an exhibition that gives us a peek back to that magical time unique to our city.

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Hand crochet and knit were popular looks of the era.

 

In the mid-1960s, artists, activists, writers, and musicians were heading to the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood attracted by cheap rents. In 1967 the area was home to over 100,000 young people from all around the country. They began to form their own community using nearby Golden Gate Park as their hangout spot. This was a time of developing changes in politics, art, fashion, and music with hippies, as they were called, working together on their shared beliefs and aesthetics.

The Summer of Love Experience exhibits more than 300 cultural artifacts of the time, including Rock & Roll posters, photographs of people in the neighborhood, and fashion, much of which is from the museum’s permanent collection but there are also key pieces on loan from private collectors.

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Hippies were interested in all things anti-establishment, particularly in how they dressed. The look was about natural and hand-made with influences from Native America, the Wild West, and vintage. Jill D’Alessandro, curator of textile and costume at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, pointed out that during that time the Western Addition neighborhood was getting redeveloped; long-time residents of aging Victorian buildings were forced to move and that resulted in piles and piles of vintage clothing showing up at thrift stores selling for next to nothing.

This dubious serendipity contributed to the unique fashions we see in this exhibit, many of which I can imagine wearing today. Local designers of the era included Jeanne Rose, Birgitta Bjerke, Mickey McGowan, and Burray Olson. Their approach was hand-made and re-purposed working with denim, leather, embroidery, beading, knit, crochet, and tie-dye. Designers and non-designers alike were influenced by, and reusing, the Victorian and Edwardian treasures they were collecting from establishments such as The Third Hand Shop, which was one of the first to embrace the vintage resale market.

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Morning Glory silk blouse and Snake knit pants by Jeanne Rose.

Jeanne Rose, who has lived in the Haight since 1964, put together costumes for local bands, designed her own clothing, and hung out with Janis Joplin. Several of her creations are part of this exhibit including a knit pair of pants and a silk blouse she calls Morning Glory. I ran into Jeanne while we walked the exhibit and she told me that she wore this one herself and it is among her favorites, pointing out the beauty and grace of the sleeves on the blouse. She exclaimed, “I love it.”

Most of the galleries include displays of both men’s and women’s clothing making this a wonderland for fashionables, particularly those interested in fashion history. Added bonus – in some cases the mannequins are close enough to get a good view of construction.

Groovy music from Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and other Bay Area bands play in the background to set the mood. If  you’re up for trippin’ head to the room with psychedelic lighting and beanbag chairs.

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A small slice of the Poster Room.

 

The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll is on now through August 20th, 2017 at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

Wait there’s more! Each day this week I’m posting a different photo from this exhibit to take a closer look at some of my favorite fashion pieces. So, check back … better yet, subscribe (button top right) and get an e-mail alert with every new post on OverDressedforLife.  Ooh man, that’s far out!

 

 

 

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IMG_20170406_181138357Linda Gravenites turns them out slowly and turns them out well and only turns them out for those she likes.

Janis Joplin (1943-1970)

Janis is speaking to Vogue magazine in 1968 about her friend Linda Gravenites, who at one time was her roommate and her stage costume designer.

The pictured beaded bag was made for Janis by her friend, Linda – glass beads and silk embroidered on goat skin. Wow!

This bag is on display at The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll, an exhibition at the de Young Museum celebrating the 50th anniversary of the magical summer in 1967, that could happen only in San Francisco.

I was attracted to Janis’ bag because of course it’s beautiful but also it’s an excellent example of the hippie fashion aesthetic. Young people of the 1960s mixed it all up: handcrafting, re-purposing combined with influences such as the Wild West and vintage. Victorian and Edwardian clothing in particular were favorites as both men and women picked up for a song blouses, skirts, suits, and hats at local thrift stores and flea markets.

This hand-beaded bag is reminiscent of the Edwardian period when women sported a demure reticule, handy for only a handkerchief. Janis’ bag is larger and must have taken quite some time (and eye strain) to make. No wonder Linda had to really like someone to turn out one of these.

Stay tuned – there’s more to come about The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll on OverDressedforLife.

 

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Ask anyone who had the pleasure of meeting American fashion designer Oscar de la Renta – the man was: a gentleman, a loyal friend, humble, generous, gracious, and … “full of wicked charm,” according to his close friend and former fashion Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley.

Certainly this kind of affection for Mr. de la Renta can be felt in the current exhibition Oscar de La Renta: A Retrospective at the de Young museum in San Francisco. During the press preview last week, Dede Wilsey, President of the Board of Trustees of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco shared that this exhibit was a true labor of love, “It was like having a baby for a really long time but it turned out to be a beautiful baby.”

Ms. Wilsey, who had been a good friend of Mr. de la Renta’s, explained that she approached him with the idea of a retrospective in 2014 at the annual Saks Fifth Avenue and the League to Save Lake Tahoe Fashion Show, something he had supported for years. He resisted at first saying “it’s ostentatious” but by the end of the day he agreed. “Two months later he was dead,” Ms. Wilsey said in an unusually shaky voice. He had lost his battle with cancer.

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One of Andre Leon Talley’s favorite pieces owned and often worn by Annette de la Renta. Black tulle, black silk taffeta applique. 2005

Guest curated by Mr. Talley, this exhibit is a simple representation of Mr. de la Renta’s long career designing elegant clothing for well-heeled ladies. He dressed First Ladies (Republicans and Democrats alike), socialites and celebrities. Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Dede Wilsey, Anna Wintour, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Hudson, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Taylor Swift were just some on the list of happy clients. “He lived the world he dressed,” Mr. Talley said, explaining his success.

Oscar de la Renta was born in 1932 to a prominent family in the Dominican Republic. In his youth he left for Spain to study art and ended up becoming a sketch artist for Balenciaga. From there he moved to Paris to design for Lanvin and then America to work for Elizabeth Arden. By the 1960s he was running his own design house and in 1969 he became an American citizen.

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Tailor Swift sporting de la Renta in 2014. Photo courtesy of FAMSF.

Included in this exhibition are pieces loaned from Fashion Institute of Technology, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Kent State University and private collectors, including his second wife, Annette. Among the standouts are Taylor Swift’s peach silk organza gown and Sarah Jessica Parker’s now iconic black and white Duchesse satin and velvet gown with de la Renta’s signature on the train … in red! There are just a few of his early designs on display from the 1960s and a smattering of day wear. Most of the exhibit is made up of evening dresses from the 1990s on. The collection of 130 pieces is arranged by what inspired the designer over the years, such as his beloved garden. (He was an avid gardener.)

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Evening ensemble coat & pants. Silk taffeta and silk embroidery. 2000.

Among my favorites were in the Eastern Influence gallery. A more casual yet still elegant collection, I liked the fabrics, rich colors, and retro feel to the designs.

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Evening dress. Black silk velvet with white silk embroidery. Photo courtesy of FAMSF.

Mr. de la Renta favored luxurious fabrics – silk and satin, brocade, velvet, and tulle. He embellished with feathers, beading or jewels and a touch of mink or fox fur can be found on coat collars, cuffs, and even on the bottom of a pair of evening pants. It is said of him that he lived to make women feel beautiful.

Walking through this exhibit, the focus is on the clothing. Aside from a couple of video loops – one is of the designer’s expansive garden in Kent and the other is footage of celebrities on various red carpets – there is little technology and few additions besides the occasional decorative piece or chair borrowed from the museum’s collection. But actually, no enhancement is needed and the lack of distraction is a welcome change. Muted lighting and quiet surroundings make for a peaceful, reflective experience.

Oscar de la Renta: A Retrospective is on now through May 30th, 2016, at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Palace of Fine Arts and the Lagoon by Edwin Deakin (1883-1923)

Speaking of museums, I just spent the best day at the de Young checking out Jewel City: Art from San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) now on view through January 10, 2016.

Jewel City features some 200 paintings, sculptures, illustrations, and photos of the 20,000 originally included in the 1915 exposition and housed in the Palace Fine Arts. PPIE was intended to celebrate both the opening of the Panama Canal and the reconstruction of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake.

This was a treat for me because as a child I often walked to the Palace of Fine Arts with my dad to feed the ducks and saunter around, awestruck by the size and magnificence of this historic building. But I have never really known how the building was used for the exposition and certainly I’ve never seen the collection exhibited. In fact this is the first time since the exposition that any of the collection has been on view together.

Arthur Frank Mathews (1860-1945), The Victory of the Culture Over Force, 1914.

Arthur Frank Mathews (1860-1945), The Victory of Culture Over Force, 1914.

The exhibit is split into a series of galleries based on region and style, for example California artists, French, Italian Futurists. Many pieces are from the San Francisco of Fine Arts Museums’ own collection and others are on loan. Among my favorites were the illustrations advertising the exposition and the Arts and Crafts aesthetic reflected in the California Gallery. I was also attracted to the Hungarian Modernism Gallery, which was a definite shift from the others for its edginess. Considered Avant Garde at the time, the style was quite a shock to 1915 viewers.

Self Portrait by Hungarian artist Lojos Tihanyi (1885-1938).

Self Portrait by Hungarian artist Lojos Tihanyi (1885-1938).

This exhibit is a cultural, historic, and aesthetic feast and of course an opportunity for inspiration.  ( I like the idea of choosing a figure from one of the paintings and having her outfit recreated for next Halloween or perhaps a masquerade ball.)

Jewel City: Art from San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. I suggest going on a Friday afternoon and staying into the evening when the museum stays open late and has live music and other fun and engaging activities. Click here for more information.

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n565_401Socialite and Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco board president Dede Wilsey says she’s had a love affair with Bvlgari jewelry nearly all her life. As a child she and her family lived in Europe and they spent summers in Rome. Her father liked to pop into the Bvlgari store (located on Via Condotti just at the bottom of the Spanish Steps) and pick up a piece or two for her mother, who was an avid wearer and collector. At 11-years-old, Ms. Wilsey received a Bvlgari of her own – a ring from her father, which she still wears today. “It never goes out of style,” she says. “Remember, that’s why it’s an investment.”

Ms. Wilsey is one among many women, famous women like Elizabeth Taylor, who have a thing for Bvlgari and now all of us can view the bold and bright wares at the de Young Museum now through February 17, 2014.

Tremblant brooches have springs allowing the flowers to ever-so-gently tremble.

Tremblant brooches have springs allowing the flowers to ever-so-gently tremble.

Called The Art of BVLGARI: La Dolce Vita and Beyond 1950-1990 the exhibit showcases some of the luxury brand’s iconic pieces such as the serpent bracelet-watch of the 1960s, the chunky chokers of the 1980s and my favorite Tremblant floral brooches popular in the late 1950s.

Bvlgari opened in Rome in 1884, but it was in the 1960s that the brand caught celebrity attention when they broke away from the conventions of the day and started mixing colored cabochon (not cut) stones with yellow gold for formal occasions. Until then, it was strictly white gold or platinum for evening and diamonds alone or with one of the other precious stones. But mixing emeralds with sapphires? Rubies with emeralds? Oh, my. Bold yellow gold after 5pm? Not the done thing. Bvlgari changed all that.

The Art of BVLGARI: La Dolce Vita and Beyond 1950-1990 features 150 pieces, including some from the late Elizabeth Taylor’s private collection, which Bvlgari bought at auction. The exhibit is arranged in four sections plus a theater which runs vintage film footage of celebrities sporting the brand. Many pieces are displayed in round stand-alone cases, allowing close-up views of the impressive craftsmanship for which the brand is known.

If you love jewelry (and I do) this exhibit is a treat! Make sure to check out the museum’s website for lectures and special events.

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