This will be a combination post….a book review, an overview of my conversation with the erudite, Valerie Steele for my monthly nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club, and additional thoughts on PINK. The book edited by Steele is the companion to the current exhibition, ending January 5th, at The Museum at FITwhere she is the Director and major guiding influencer.
The FIT exhibitions are always brilliantly mounted and worthy of your visit. There will be two exhibitions in 2019 that will be accompanied by books, more opportunities for us to hear from this unique fashion scholar (she is so much more…as you will learn in an upcoming nenasnotes Profile!)
Book Review and other thoughts on pink in fashion and our lives: The book is brilliantly written, edited and illustrated. Giving us insights into a color that has been in fashion for centuries. I particularly like the layout of the book (not all the pictures accompanying this post are in the book or exhibition but are being used to illustrate my take on pink!) taking us from the courts of Europe when pink was worn by as many men (see above illustration) as women through Haute Couture Collections to Punk to Red Carpets to Pussy Hats to Real Men Wear Pink to pink ribbons fighting breast cancer. We learn about the introduction of Shocking Pink by Elsa Schiaparelli to the iconic Yves Saint Laurent black gown with wide shocking pink bow, a garment, that Steele shared with us in conversation, that was a major exhibition coup and one she was especially excited to include. It is a MUST for your fashion library, but then all of Valerie Steele’s books are meant to be included there.
I have had the fabulous good fortune to have many brilliant authors join me in conversation for the monthly nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club and I must admit Valerie wasn’t an exception, we all learned so much! I hope she enjoyed the hour as much as I did and the attendees were in rapt attention, I might even say in awe with her at ease conversation in sharing her expertise which, in my opinion, knows no bounds. Bravo Valerie and thank you….here’s to the next book!
The reinvention of Schiaparelli, Christian Lacroix with the first collection (which I thought was brilliant, but then I am a huge fan of Lacroix!) and a more recent interpretation, love the color combination!
Two photos from the exhibition……notice the Comme des Garçons (pale pink on the far right) is inspired by court gowns of the 18th century. The book and exhibition pushes our knowledge of color, silhouette, influence and on and on…I suggest when you either read an accompany exhibition book or are fortunate enough to visit one that you look beyond the obvious, leave behind what you think you know and absorb the detail of the garments and text…clothing is history which oftens recreates itself but always defines a place in time.
A masterwork by a master craftsman Charles James from the Costume Collections of the Chicago History Museum
Pink in major works of art as well as the fabulous scene in Funny Face with the extraordinary Kay Thompson et al singing “Think Pink” an ode to the classic Diana Vreeland proclamation “Pink is the navy blue of India!”
Barbie Pink is Red Carpet ready….and from the Valentino Haute Couture catwalk to Tracee Ellis Ross on the real runway, the Emmy’s Red Carpet, gorgeous!!!!
Exquisite pink entryway
Pink Cadillacs and Grease’s Pink Ladies
Real Men Wear Pink supporting Chicago fundraising for Breast Cancer
Carolyne Roehm in one of her designs from her new book Carolyne Roehm: Design & Style: A Common Thread
Catherine Grace O’Connell Founder of Forever Fierce Revolution and a nenasnotes Profile, please check Archives.
Shades of pink for an interior space
Some pieces courtesy of the Costume Collection of the Chicago History Museum gathered for me by Jessica Pushor, Costume Collections Manager. You can research on their digital platform.
A glorious ethereal fantasy.
Of course, an exquisite rose to inspire us….
And from the uber talented artist, Rosemary Fanti, her interpretation of me in her pink creation….a surprise gift at The Fashion Book Club. Thrilled to include it in my Rt collection.
All photos unless otherwise noted from Pinterest photo credits unknown.
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