Saturday, January 20, 2024

Final Touches --- Day 13/14

Walk: AMC Kabuki (All of Us Strangers)

Distance: 3 miles

A few finishing touch notes from Ciwt on the de Young's current Fashioning San Francisco: A Century of Style.  

*  The de Young has tied the fashion in the exhibit to historical events, places and people in San Francisco which adds a level of interest and brings the clothes on display alive for Bay Area locals as well as visitors. It celebrates not only fashion artistry, but also San Franciscans’ role in harnessing it: the women who wore it, the philanthropists who supported it, the city that nourished it. The rooms of the exhibition are built around iconic locales in the city: Early fashion is displayed in a facsimile of the Palace of Fine Arts, the little black dress is found in Grace Cathedral, the ballgowns festoon the Opera House. In many ways the exhibition a love letter to the city and its residents.


Christian Dior, Junon (above) and Venus (below), Fall-Winter 1949

Among the many gorgeous haute courture gowns on display two that rise to the eye as the most superior were actually never worn.  They are Christian Dior and were brought from France to the exclusive Union Square department store I Magnin.  But, instead of selling them, I. Magnin immediately designated them as 'museum pieces' saying "They represent the absolute pinnacle of creativity and draftsmanship."

(This is the official story, but Ciwt secretly wonders if the gowns were simply too high priced even for the wealthiest San Francisco buyers. Or if there was some concern about a fashion war over who would be allowed to purchase them). 

In any case, the gowns glow with freshness and artistry and are a delight to the eye).  


As might be expected in the Bay Area, there is a high tech touch to the exhibition.  Through some sort of Artificial Intelligence (AI for those in the know), visitors can stand in front of mirrors and suddenly be wearing a few selected gown and outfits, all fitted to their particular sizes and shapes.  

Ciwt assumed this would be tricky and work only for the most tech savvy.  But not so.  Even Ciwt could easily step into the gowns.  She just stood on a round pad across from the mirror, and voila, there she was all dressed up and ready to go to the ball.

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