Browsing articles tagged with "Penneys Archives - I Love Saturday"
Feb 13, 2014

Costumes Parisiens – Chester Beatty Library

It was my birthday on Tuesday, so I went up town looking for some action. Well, I went to the Chester Beatty Library, actually. There was a bit of excitement though, with the snow storm & all. It felt so romantic to be swept up in a mid-February blizzard. I ran through the grounds of Dublin Castle, finally finding refuge in the Silk Road Cafe. Wet coat off, tea & fresh orange cake on. This place was made for comfort…

Costumes Parisiens is showing at the Chester Beatty since October & it was finally my chance to have a goo. The exhibition features the unique illustrations of Journal des Dames et des Modes (1912-1914). One hundred years after it’s publication, these fashion plates give us a taste for the elegant styles of du jour. It was Beatty’s glamorous wife, Edith, who encouraged him to acquire the magazine.

The fine sketches depict a whimsical side of style, which is really what fashion is all about. A rich & exotic opulence, characterised by Orientalism, Neo-Classical French & Art Nouveau design with rich fabrics & bold patterns. Costumes Parisiens serves as a record of the growth of haute couture & the revolutionary path to modern women’s apparel. It celebrates luxury & craftsmanship in fashion.

Gowns, dresses, hats & handbags – the French woman at the turn of the century was a leading arbiter of style. These original prints from George Barbier, Leon Bakst & Bernard Boutet de Monvel capture ladies of the Belle Epoque era at leisure & play. Vivid colours & intricate detail relay the womanly art of dressing. Although the menswear is equally beguiling, it’s the feminine look that truly inspires.

I particularly enjoyed the display of real handmade clothing. So beautiful, these gowns held such allure in their fabric, draping & embellishment. It makes me rue the day Penneys was invented. Imagine Madame wearing leggings? Me neither… Costumes Parisiens is a must-see for those who appreciate a stylish aesthetic or those who simply enjoy beautiful graphics. Showing until March 30th 2014.

Costumes Parisiens, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin2 / www.silkroadcafe.ie