Friday, October 22, 2010

Exquisite Finery

Blue Silk Ballgown and Red SIlk womens stockings, with Gold thread embroidery

Bonjour Mes Amis! Recently I wrote a post (here) about visiting the new Resnick Pavilion in Los Angeles for the opening weekend. I was in awe of all of the beauty and history surrounding me. It was a spectacular experience and I am so excited to share these pics with you. 

Edwardian Lace dress and kidskin gloves/A stunning uncut pattern on Silk

The first of the three exhibits that we visited was this amazing journey through time, "Fashioning Fashion" European dress through the ages. I cannot tell you just how incredible these items were in person.  

L. Blue Mademoiselles Giroux Dress c. 1880 made in LImoges France  made in the Princess Line, named after Princess Alexandria of Whales.

This stunning display exhibits European Dress from 1700~1915. All of the very most romantic eras are represented here and one could get lost in the glamour and the romance of it all.

I apologize for the hefty amout of photos in this post, I had a really hard time editing some out. I have loads more but decided to spare you! My best friend had my camera so I took these with my phone but you just can't hide the fact that the fashion was divine!

Fashion from some of the most famous and luxurious fashion houses and designers in history are on display: The House of Rouff, Émile Pingat, Giroux, and so many more. The above Pink gown is from the 1830's and is decorated with a sea of faux pearls that  would weigh down the sheer overlay and make a delightful clinking noise when the lucky wearer would move. The faux pearls are glass filled with a mixture of fish scales and glue. The story behind this is remarkable, I could do an entire post over the discovery of this process by a French rosary maker.

I wish I could write about each of these pieces, however, I think I would both bore you and take hours to write. Each piece has a truly remarkable history and the process of creating these works of art are incredible.

The contents of these Silk~Velvet lined boxes are amazing! The larger box contains jeweled buttons for a mens suit from the 1700's, the missing ones are on display on the suit next to this box. The smaller boxes contain jeweled shoe buckles! If I could only just hold one for a moment! Too beautiful!!!

I have been holding back writing that "this photo is my favorite"because it feels like they all are but I really do think this one is my favorite. Those bustles are fantastic and the colors! Oh my!

18th century Robe à la Française. Cream Silk with Handpainted details. The colorful florals are woven in to the fabric but the Green/Yellow leaves and bows are handpainted. Just amazing!

The thing that struck me most about everysingle piece I saw was the detail, the hadmade aspect of everything, the fact that every pleat, bead, ruffle, and delicious piece of golden passementerie, has been perfectly placed is mind blowing. Seeing gowns and suits worn at the most luxurious courts in Europe was a special and treasured treat. The true luxury of the textiles, lush trimmings, and artistry of each piece is intoxicating.

All of these pieces and so much more (a vest from the Revolution in France, children's clothing, capes lined in ostrich feathers, etc) are currently on display at LACMA in Los Angeles until March.

All Photos ~ Paris Atelier
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  1. Judith,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful post.
    Such detail, imagine hand painted, it had to take a month. How did they use fish scales? I can only think of a tarpon fish, they have huge fish scales..

  2. Pretty interesting! Thanks for put this exhibition a little bit more close!

  3. What a fantastic collection, thank you from all in blogland for taking the time to share, it was most informative and for one who loves costume from 16th Century to present day i loved it. Have you been to the Royal Albert Museum in London? Is always worth a visit, they have some costume, bustles etc and also costume from the Tudor times which was mostly pinned onto a women ... ouch.

  4. This is an amazing post!!!
    Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures with us!!!

  5. This is such an amazing post...I could barely breath...just like I was wearing a corset! Ha! The story of the 'fish scale' pearls...Would love to know more about that process.
    Thanks for your help this week. I finally did it! Will visit you from that page. Have a great weekend, Judith.

  6. wow! Thank you for the photos. If you ever go to Florence, Italy, you should visit the Pitti Palace (the Costume Gallery) where you'll find an awesome collection of florentine fashion through the ages (I was not allowed to take photos, maybe you'll manage).
    And when you get the chance, please check out my blog
    Have a nice day! D.

  7. Oh my! These are so gorgeous! I live in LA now so I could actually see them in person! Thank you so much for sharing these gorgeous garments with us! My mother always said I should have lived in another era. I wish these fashions would come back(just a little more comfortable). But that wouldn't work in these days. Can you imagine wearing something like these to work?

  8. This is EXACTLY the kind of history I love. These garments are drop dead gorgeous. (Wealthy) women wore such beautiful and feminine things. I'm not sure I'd want to go back to bustles, but corsets? Oh Yeah!
    Patricia :o)

  9. Judith,

    Do you know the name of this exhibit? I would love to follow it and see if it would land within driving distance of my home here in Texas. This exhibit would be heaven for me! I LOVE the robin's egg blue Louis vestement!


  10. What an amazing collection and I just adore your blog - I spotted you via Bonjour Romance and am so glad to have found you! Kisses Kitty xxx

  11. Thank you for the beautiful post! I always wondered what happened to the beautiful fashion of days (centuries) long ago. I love the details too and could look at a hundred more pics! Im so glad to see that there are many pieces so well preserved in collections, and now on display for all to see. Where is it being shown? Id love to see it in person too. ~Bonnie~

  12. Hi!!

    I just started reading blogs and stumbled across yours. This post is truly amazing. I often feel like I should have been born during this time period...what a beautiful time. I wish we still dressed this way! I wish I could see all your pictures and hear you talk about it all - it wasn't boring in the least!

    Thank you for the beautiful post and I'm so glad there are others out there who feel the same way I do.



  13. Hiya new friend! Okay, this is probably the best post ever!!!!! Oh, my if only to see these incredible pieces of art up close!! I would love to be able to "dress up" in something like these dresses just to see what it felt like! *giggle*

    I adore your blog!! So glad you found me via Twitter!! :)


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