Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Shanghai Museum; Things to Wear

At museums, I love looking at garments, textiles, jewelery, and ceramics, because these are things people interacted with and enjoyed and some of that life always comes through. And of course when I look at all these wonderful old patterns and colors, my mind begins to swirl with grand plans to incorporate these ancient designs into my own creations.

All of these garments are from minority groups within China, many of whom are very isolated. But I was struck by how these costumes called up other distant cultures, especially Native American, Russian and Indian dress.

I have a recurring fashion fantasy where I get to wear a beaded headdress like this one to some fantastic party. I think the word Diva has been devalued by its constant over use on VH1, but how else to describe something so decadent? What fun to hear all the beads clinking together as you toss your head and bat your gigantic false eyelashes. It reminds me of Liz Taylor as Cleopatra or Mia Farrow as Daisy.

These beaded pieces were woven directly into the hair. I"m sure they were quite heavy as the beads were all cut from incredibly lovely pieces of natural coral and turquoise. The effect was really beautiful, but I'm sure she was glad to let her hair down at the end of the day.

This little silver crown, on the other hand, looked light as a feather. It reminded me of a Tord Boontje for Artecnica. But of course,this came first. Think of the beautiful contrast of the fluttery silver against shiny dark black Asian hair. Gorgeous.

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