Modern Love: A Preview. Haute Couture. Thanks @BgoArtGallery and @FIDMMuseum

Modern Love opens this weekend at the Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria. To set the stage, here’s FIDM Museum curator Kevin Jones’ favourite piece from the exhibit: A Christian Lacroix evening gown from the F/W ’91 collection.

Christian Lacroix Chiffon, Velvet and Leather dressMais naturellement, it is haute couture

The dress was draped straight onto the mannequin in separate parts: each skirt layer was cut out of silk chiffon, individually hemmed and pleated, then draped in place and sewn on by hand.

Christian Lacroix Chiffon, Velvet and Leather dress
The bodice was draped in silk velvet and attached to the skirt waist with leather and rhinestone trim. The neckline was then interfaced to hold its shape and finished with leather and rhinestones.

Christian Lacroix Chiffon, Velvet and Leather dressThe pleats on the skirt consist of narrower sets at irregular intervals rather than being continuously spaced all around. I wondered if that’s what kept the hem even in those areas. It certainly makes for a more natural drape overall.

The bodice and skirt portions have separate closures: a concealed zipper (hand-picked) for the bodice and concealed snaps for the skirt portion.

Christian Lacroix Chiffon, Velvet and Leather dressIt’s all good. We’re professionals, we know what we’re doing. Well, the one on the right does.

No shots of the closures-there was no way to get a camera back there to frame the shot. You should totally go see it for yourself though (and while you’re there, take a selfie and submit it to the competition)-everything’s set up for maximal viewing pleasure i.e. the mannequins are displayed so both the fronts and backs of the garments are clearly visible, closures and all.

My absolute favourite detail about this dress? It’s invisible. Unless you go looking for it. Like so.

Christian Lacroix Chiffon, Velvet and Leather dressIt has an integrated body suit to thwart potential wardrobe malfunctions!*

They certainly don’t make ‘em like they used to. Tickets here, related programs and events here and if you want to make a weekend of it, travel/accommodation tie-ins here.

I’d like to give a massive shout out to the Bendigo Art Gallery and the FIDM Museum for allowing me to preview the exhibit and to Kevin, Leanne, Dani and Christine for walking me through the exhibit while they were setting it up. I was happier that day than I was on the day I got my PhD (the latter was an anti-climax. The scroll was not made of Platinum. Or vellum. Or even faux vellum paper. Goshdurnit).

Thanks also to Carl for all the awesome photos.

*Yes. The bodysuit has poppers snaps.

CREDITS
Christian Lacroix (1951-) Paris
Evening gown fall/winter 1990-91
Silk velvet, silk chiffon, leather, beads,sequins & rhinestones
Anonymous gift
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