Tuesday, October 6, 2015

SCAD FASH spotlights Oscar de la Renta

The folks at SEFAA, where I gave a talk on Sunday, urged me to GO!  Go see the show they had just seen at SCAD FASH, the art school's brand-new fashion museum.  On this opening day admission was free and I found a bunch of excited art students and fashion followers queued up at the top of parking deck waiting to get in.  The inaugural exhibit focuses on the work of Oscar de la Renta.

Entrance to SCAD FASH, from 4th level of parking deck.
The show has obvious appeal to designers, fashion lovers and followers of haute couture.  During my visit, it was fun to check in with the white-coated docents who carried iPads loaded with photos of celebrities wearing the gowns on display, including Taylor Swift, Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman. 

Gown worn by Sarah Jessica Parker, who asked the designer to sign his work
 But the show is also a must-see for anyone interested in fabric, clothing, and embellishment.  Formal evening gowns comprise the bulk of the show, with a number of day dresses, suits and coats thrown in.

I really enjoyed leaning in to admire some of the incredibly intricate detail. 

This hand was gesturing, not reaching out to touch.  No touching allowed, of course!

Look at the incredible embroidery on this coat!


My photo does not do justice to the rich surface of this green brocade.


I love the giant bows that added back interest to so many of the gowns.  One dress even included a removable bustle.  What's old is new again.

I also thought the show was beautifully installed.  The lights were low, in keeping with the need to preserve textiles from the damage light can cause.  Flash photography was forbidden.  The mannequins were themselves embellished in various witty ways--beaded eyelashes, for example--that to me were just the right nod of respect to a master of embellishment.  And as you can see in the photo below there was some fun had with the lighting and backdrops.  I could have done without the disco ball effect in one corner of the exhibit, however; to me it seemed distracting.  Overall, though, this show is very promising debut for SCAD FASH.

The show runs through Dec. 31.  Treat yourself and go!

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