Friday, March 30, 2012

Take a trip to the "Sea"

On the evening of March 2nd some of us here in land-locked Phoenix were fortunate enough to take a refreshing trip to the sea.  We walked along the boardwalk and saw ladies in fine dresses, some dashing sailors, more than a few interesting swimsuits, and even a couple of mermaids.

And no, we were not hallucinating as a result of heat stroke from the oncoming Phoenix summer.  We were attending the opening reception of The Sea in the Ellman Fashion Design Gallery at the Phoenix Art Museum.  This spectacular exhibit, curated by Dennita Sewell is a refreshing and beautiful escape from the heat and brownness of the desert as our temperatures start to rise.  The exhibition, "explores the far-reaching influence of the romance, colors and forms of the sea on fashion design.  Drawn from the Museum's extensive permanent collection and private collections, The Sea features work by Prada, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Christian Lacroix for Patou, Zandra Rhodes, and Pauline Trigere among others."

As someone who has been attending exhibitions in the fashion gallery at the Museum since 1999, I am always amazed by the work of Dennita and her team.  The Sea is no exception.

What follows are some pictures from the opening but trust me when I say, the pictures don't do the exhibition justice.  Make sure to take some time to go down and see it for yourself before it closes.  It's on view now through July 15th.

For more information on visiting the museum click here.

Sea side dresses from the 1860s
At left, lounge pajamas from the 1930s.  Right, Rita Jo dress from the 1930s.
A selection of swimsuits showing how styles have changed over the years.
Left and right, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel.  Left, swimsuit and dress from early 2000s.  Right, jacket, swimsuit and shoes from the Cruise 2011-12 collection, gift of Saks Fifth Avenue.
We had a full house that night with First Friday going on at the same time.  It's always great to see so many people enjoying the exhibition.
Clair McCardall

The fabulous accessories case.
More of the accessories

Christian Lacroix for Patou "Chaldee" Dress and Overskirt, Spring 1986.


Dress from the early 1860s, "water mark" moire silk.

The dashing sailors!

Left and behind, Chado Ralph Rucci, Spring 2002 Couture.  Right and front, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Spring 2012, gift from Neiman Marcus.

Synthetic brocade and monofilimant lace with paillette and bead embroidery.  This Chanel dress was simply stunning, front and back.

Again, this is just a small taste, you have to see it to believe it so make sure you head down the the Phoenix Art Museum to check it out in person.


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