Dispatch: Dig Fashionista Scores Advance Glimpse of MFA’s “Paris Collections 2006” Exhibition
I almost leapt out of my skin when I heard that the MFA was putting on a new exhibition featuring runway designs from ten really, really, really good designers. I was ready for a taste. Saturday evening I wrangled myself to the opening black-tie gala, where museum patrons, representatives from the fashion houses, and high-flying guests (about 1500 invitees in all) mingled within the glowing interior of the galleries. I assumed my most presentable self and survived (barely) a night in heels. More after the jump.
I almost leapt out of my skin when I heard that the MFA was putting on a new exhibition featuring runway designs from ten really, really, really good designers. So-beautiful-you-cry Dior and Lacroix impeccable haute couture to brilliant conceptual collections from Hussein Chalayan and Maison Martin Margiela. Impressive lineup, and a surprisingly glamorous turn of the Museum to bring such a delicious fashion spread to Boston. I was ready for a taste. Saturday evening I wrangled myself to the opening black-tie gala, where museum patrons, representatives from the fashion houses, and high-flying guests (about 1500 invitees in all) mingled within the glowing interior of the galleries. I assumed my most presentable self and survived (barely) a night in heels.
We arrived at the Huntington entrance, with the kleig lights fanning the sky. The red carpet was definitely more like a strip of red rug, considerately duct-aped to the asphalt. Escaping the freezing cold, we entered the superglowy museum prepped and shined for the VIP party. Of course I was checking out everyone's outfits, with the women in frocks of various ingenuity (beaded black slipdresses to vintage goddess gowns), and the men looking like the penguins they always (yawn) are forced to be. Once we ran up the dramatic stairwell, we were faced with an 8-foot sculptural dress constructed from the Barneys window designer from hundreds of covers of the Fashion Show exhibit catalog. Imposing, beautiful, creative: a pretty awesome start to the evening.
The photos from the night probably do more justice than I could ever describe for the clothes, but the exhibition presentation was incredible (or should I say incroyable?), with your face literally inches away from these most perfect articles of clothing. I almost feared someone would trip over their own hem and go lipstick-first into the Chanel white knit dress, but I suppose fashion has always been about risk.
Behold, I’ve made a flickr album for you people: Right here.
I met the lovely triptych from Yohji Yamamoto. Coralie Gauthier wore an origami-like folded cotton dress, Sarah Brown was ensconced in felted wool circles, and Carla Wachtvietl floated in a voluminous silk gown. I asked Coralie cheekily, “I love your dress! Does it come in any other color?” She replied, “Oh, definitely! Um, actually, no.” The joke being that most of Yohji Yamamoto's designs are only designed in the purest form, in black. Well, it was funny to us, okay? Plus, I loved how they each represented a different natural material: cotton, wool, silk. They unintentionally formed the basis of which any natural textile could emerge.
Nothing to do with the fashion, but it bears mentioning that the fancy food was pretty damn tasty, though it was mad crowded and impossible to seat oneself. Among our favorites were the traveling-platter dishes, including the grilled shrimp avec moutarde and the on-a-toothpick cubes of chicken paté with pearl onions. Yum-yum, especially paired with a signature martini with floating violets. Though I appreciate the consistency, it was a bit contrived that the dishes (beef, salmon, cheese) were all labeled en français: le boeuf, les saumons, le fromage. C'était peu un lame.
Before I even recognized who he was, I spotted this flamboyant gent in a plush purple and black suit jacket. Since I was donning a purple and black dress (Bruuns Bazaar, if you were wondering), I sidled up to him and declared him in good taste. Though, together, we were a bit matchy-matchy, which is a definite no-no. Soon we did introductions and realised I was sharing the world of purple with Jonathan Soroff from the Improper Bostonian. Ha.
Tatiana de Profundis, perhaps most famously known as Miss Gothic Massachusetts 2003 but who now works in women's ready-to-wear at Barneys, rocked a designer piece from Branimira Ivanova. All I can say is, this season it's not more cowbell. It's more bustle. Clearly.