Friday, October 17, 2008

Dresses: classic couture or Shanghai cool?

Besides the iguana, my favourite thing at the ROM was the fashion. I couldn't stop myself from drawing these two dresses. I fell in love with them about half-an-hour apart and in two different rooms, but they ended up on the same sketchbook page, standing beside each other defiantly.

The first is by Zang Da, a designer from Shanghai. I loved his stuff because it had such a basic and effortless feeling about it, but drama too. Neutral, minimalist, elegant, feminine and bold. The dress above was black. I can't seem to find an official website for him, but here's a couple of blog posts about him and his designs if you dig the dress and want to know more: Shanghai Style Icon and Zang Da in his Studio.

This was part of an exhibition called Shanghai Kaleidoscope – "Shanghai as a laboratory for 21st-century urban creation" – which also included some great video work. And again, the exhibition design was interesting, floating mannequins and all.

On the right is the Delphine Cocktail Dress by Christian Dior, 1956/57. I was so excited when I saw this in the textiles exhibit – it reminded me instantly of a vintage black dress I bought a few years ago to wear to a friend's wedding on New Year's Eve. Mine's not Dior of course, but the concept is the same (the sash that folds over and hangs down like a scarf, with a fringe at the bottom), and it was so cool to place it in time like this. How great would it be to wear the Dior one, so red and perfectly pouffed.

In this standoff between classic and cool, I don't really want to pick a winner – I want both. To be both avante garde and put-together glamorous, all at once, or at least in the same week.


Anonymous said...

wow, very special, i like it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, both great and love the drawing. Maybe a vintage store will have fascimiles of the Dior one. You could probably whip the other one up on a sewing machine??