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ELEGANCE IN AN AGE OF CRISIS

Vintage Cleverley Ghillies at the FIT Museum

Vintage Cleverley ghillies at the FIT Museum

To celebrate Fashion Week here in NYC I thought it would be fitting to take a wonderful look back – The FIT Museum with it’s ravishing exhibition, Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s (perhaps inspiration for the title of my future memoir as well?) was the most perfect antidote to all the fashion week craziness.

I do love the 1930s, (one of my favorite design periods besides the 1970s which itself was heavily influenced by the 30s). It is remarkable that there was so much innovation during this time of historical tumult. Indeed, great change most often happens in the midst of adversity!

The 30s saw the advent of a truly modern approach to attire for both men and women, with styles that enhanced the human form and yet allowed far more freedom of movement than had previously been known.

Evening jackets at the FIT museum

Evening jackets at the FIT museum

Needless to say, the show includes wonderful examples of period fashions for both men and women and it is quite amazing that so many of the featured pieces seem quite relevant even today. It’s one of those must-see exhibitions for any and all interested in taste and style – do have a look!

Special Exhibitions Gallery
February 7, 2013 – April 19, 2014

I was particularly struck by the above Vintage Cleverley Ghillies and the stunning evening jackets.

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11 Comments

  1. Great suggestion, I shall be sure to go and see it! Reggie

  2. Reggie! Andrew! I want to go see it too!

    But will it ever stop snowing?

    As you will believe; Hutton Wilkinson owns the most divine green velvet dinner jacket I have ever seen (the one in the exhibition is a contender…but…..oh dear Lord!!) Hutton’s “takes the cake”!!

    He wore it to our youngest daughter’s debutante party in Pasadena in a tent at our house…..now I will find pictures; and scan them…oh you know! there has to be a post! It was the best party ever in the world. Tony Duquette and Hutton……waiters had animal heads on……it was so freezing I had to bring blankets and fur coats for Michael Carney’s orchestra……..seriously. Could I make this up???

    I will find, scan and post. You will LOVE! That is all I know!!!

  3. I forgot to say…oh dear lord! This party was 25 years ago! Nonetheless! I will do that! It was so chic!

    XXOO

    MAYBE WE HAVE TO DIG UP THE PAST TO REMIND PEOPLE ABOUT ELEGANCE??

    YES? NO?

    YOU GUYS TELL ME!

  4. La Contessa says:

    MADAME BIANCHI………GO DIG…….and YES,lets keep reminding the people about ELEGANCE!
    ANIMAL HEADS………..I want to see those photos!!!
    James,what size are you in a jacket?I think what I have is too small for you but it is GREEN VELVET…….circa 1970’s.I NEED ALL THE CLOSET SPACE I CAN ACQUIRE!
    XX

  5. George Cruz says:

    Thank you for blogging about The Fit Museum, James! I certainly love the fashion photos you’ve been showing here from the exhibition. I agree with you that 1930’s fashion was supreme. I was intrigued with your mentioning of the connection of 1970’s fashion with the 1930’s. Thank you for pointing that out. Most interesting! I was also happy to read about you writing your future memoir. Something grand to look forward too! You are always wonderful, James!

  6. James Andrew says:

    My Darling Penny,

    Cannot wait to see these photos!!!

    That Hutton is so incredibly dashing!

    Perhaps the elegance of the past can indeed inform the present and perhaps at the very least offer some inspiration.

    Love and Light,

    JA

  7. James Andrew says:

    Hello my Lovely La Contessa,

    This is just so fun – I adore these group conversations!

    I am a 48 Euro size about 38 US.

    Love and Lots of Light

    JA

  8. James Andrew says:

    Darling Dean,

    Thank You!

    You would certainly enjoy the exhibition!!!

    Cheers

    JA

  9. James Andrew says:

    Hello George my Gorgeous friend,

    There is a wonderful book :

    Walter Albini- And His Times, All Power to the Imagination

    Albini was very prolific in the 70’s and was very influenced by fashions of the 30’s.

    Many people in the 70’s who could not afford the latest Halston or other hot designers of the moment would quite often by vintage pieces from the 30’s to achieve a similar look.

    My memoir – hmmm – not sure about that – but loved the title of this exhibition and thought it rang true.

    Cheers and Many Thanks

    JA

  10. La Contessa says:

    I will go check the size and get back to YOU!!!

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