Surrounded by words at the Museum of Contemporary Art – Denver
From the Library of Congress
Love these old posters from the WPA. As with anything the government does the WPA had its share of controversies as well as successes. I find the idea of training, educating people to learn sewing and handcrafts to be pretty darn cool. Many participants of the WPA were women. Women of the time still did a lot of their sewing by hand. WPA classes taught women how to sew with machines, pattern drafting, knitting and more. Some women were put to work making bedding, clothing and other items for hospitals. This sewing skill would come in handy during the war years with women going to work in factories making various fiber items for the war effort.
I visited the Front Range Contemporary Quilters a group of artist quilters the other night. It was kismet that I came on that night because their sister group Wearable Art was having a fashion show. These women are amazing garment sewers using couture methods and in many cases drafting their own patterns for their designs. After talking with these lovely ladies I signed up to be apart of their group. My first meeting is in January and I’m really excited to be possibly learning a great deal from these women. So, do you belong to a sewing guild in your area. Do you like it and what do you do when you meet up?
If you would like to see their designs please check out the fan page of Denver Sewing Collective.
Scary Beautiful Shoes
Artist Leanie van der Vyer has created a pair of shoes like no other. Yes, these shoes are without a doubt ugly and quite scary. However her message is poignant and compelling. The video below is haunting and just a little uncomfortable to watch. Leanie says of the shoes they are an ‘… illustration of what lies beyond this aspirational perfection”. Which in my mind would be pain and discomfort.
(The video might take a second to load)
“Humans are Playing God by physically and metaphorically perfecting themselves. Beauty is currently at an all time climax, allowing this project to explore what lies beyond perfection. Scary Beautiful challenges current beauty ideals by inflicting an unexpected new beauty standard.”
What do you think of the video, of the shoes, of fashions quest for perfection.
For more on her thesis and photos click here.
Get your tickets to Belgium. The Mode Museum or MoMu will be showing the exquisite designs of Madame Gres in Anvers this fall from September 12, 2012 – February 10. 2013. Madame Gres is noted for her sculptural and architectural qualities in her designs. These photos don’t do the gowns justice. Unlike the YSL exhibit that was in Denver apparently viewers can freely take pictures of her gowns, just don’t flip that hem.
Here are a few dresses from her later period. And for a better look check out these photos too.
For more here is a New York Times article on Madame Gres and her beautiful designs.
Photos from Yagi Tsusho current holder of the Gres name/brand.