It's December, so that means we were on the road for our traditional winter trips to Indianapolis and Cincinnati. Now we pack the day full on these, from art galleries to plant conservatories to antique shops, malls, restaurants, and museums. We always plan too much and run out of time, but that means we will go back.
This time we were lucky, and both the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Indianapolis Museum of Art had fashion exhibits. Great fun. As ever, we hit some vintage shops and antique malls in each city. And Mr. Past Perfect thanks Venus and Mars in Fountain Square for the tweed hat that kept him warm for the day!
Now, the exhibits:
At Cincinnati: there's Wedded Perfection: Two Centuries of Wedding Gowns, running until January 30, 2011. This is a very polished presentation of wedding dresses from 1800 to the modern day with the focus on the shift of the historical wedding dress from a symbol of purity and chastity to the centerpiece of a grand spectacle with many theatrical overtones.
Modern designers are represented, including Vera Wang and Geoffrey Beene, and the exhibit covers alternative wedding dresses as well. A photographic display of candid shots supplements the presentation. They even have a very nicely done glossy book on the exhibit available in the shop.
And it closes on Jan. 2, but we were very happy to see Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman on our visit as well. The portraits were great with fascinating stories, and yes, there were 18th Century dresses on display in the gallery to round it out.
At Indianapolis Museum of Art: The Body Unbound: Contemporary Couture from the IMA's Collection runs until January 30t, 2011 in the Paul Fashion Arts Gallery. From the IMA:
"The exhibition will feature groundbreaking designs by Rudi Gernreich, Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe, Thierry Mugler, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Gianni Versace and other avant-garde fashion designers. Body Unbound will explore how these designers used modern construction and unexpected materials to contort, conceal, reveal or mock their wearers." This one is both fun and serious. Being primarily modern, we got a kick out of how many of these designers were ones whose work we have sold. Mr. Past Perfect noted that most of the garments were ones a woman couldn't have moved in without revealing an awful lot, but then, if she had cared about revealing too much, she wouldn't have bought them to begin with. As ever, we liked the Moschinos best. It's the humor.
And downstairs, for an additional $5 fee - and do pay it, it's worth it and you're already there, is Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection, also running until Jan. 30. It's a great mix of antique, fine, craft and vintage brooches, all with a story, all with a point and almost all with humor.