Los Angeles–Baroque details have a rich past but they’re making a name for themselves in the present. Contemporary fashion is full of brocades, plush velvet, opulent jewels and regal red (see Alexander McQueen’s final collection).
For more inspiration, check out Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915, a current exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, running through March 6, 2011. The show presents European women’s, men’s and children’s apparel and accessories from the Age of Enlightenment to WWI, and shows the sweeping changes fashion saw over 200 years.
Even so, all details can be appreciated today. Luxurious textiles and lush trimmings are examined, as are tailoring techniques that have certainly gone by the wayside in this era of mass production. Lace is also key.
Highlights from the show include: an 18th century man’s vest intricately embroidered with powerful symbolic messages relevant to the French Revolution; an evening mantle with silk embroidery, glass beads, and ostrich feathers designed by French couturier Émile Pingat (active 1860-96); and spectacular three-piece suits and gowns worn at the royal courts of Europe.
The exhibition is curated by Sharon S. Takeda, senior curator and department head, and Kaye D. Spilker, curator, LACMA’s Costume and Textiles department.
Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915: Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, www.lacma.org