Monday, July 5, 2010

Vintage Fashion at the Met

A few weeks ago I got to see the American Woman: Fashioning an Identity exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in New York. While most of us gals love mid-century style, the exhibit begins in the last decade of the 19th century, and ends with the 1930s. It's meticulously curated. Even the wigs on the mannequins are to die for. My favorite was the room dedicated the 1930s, where the screen siren was the reigning archetype. It showed movie clips from great movies like "The Women" and "Gilda" (one of my favorites). They even had a dress Anna May Wong wore in one of her famous films (the one with the dragon on it).

The beauty of the exhibit is it ties the fashions of the decades to statements about women's political, sexual and social realities. I just wish it stretched across class lines a bit more. Of course every woman in the 30s wanted to be draped in silks like a movie star, but so few could afford it, what with it being the Depression and all. What was the middle-class housewife wearing when she snuck off to see Joan Crawford after washing her last load of laundry?

The Met was kind enough to make a YouTube video of the collection.

And if that's not enough, here's the exhibit's Flickr page with behind the scenes photos. Fit a trip to the Met into your summer plans. The exhibit's up until August 15. While you're hear, hop on the train to The Brooklyn Museum's American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection, on view through August 1.

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  1. That exhibit looks like a good take in. Also I love the new design of your blog! I am trying to figure out how to convert mine to a 3 column format.

    I'm having issues with comments on my blog...yours disappeared from the summer of love one along with my own...and one of mine disappeared from the Sun-In one. Wondering if any other bloggers are having the same problem.

  2. OH wow. I would've Loved to see this exhibit. Prettyyyyyyy.


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