We tasked one of our fantastic interns, and Savannah College of Art and Design student, Kim with the difficult mission of checking out the André Leon Talley Little Black Dress exhibit currently showing at the SCAD Museum. Between the Ralph Rucci and the Lanvin it's been hard not to hop a plane and jet down to Savanna, GA to take in all the beauty first hand!
To me, fashion designers are the ultimate crafters, and I must say, going to Savannah College of Art and Design has definitely exposed me to some really amazing ones. I’ve come to realize that designers are constantly looking for new materials and ways to make innovative garments, just like DIY'ers. Curated by Andre Leon Talley, the Little Black Dress exhibit at my school features many designs made by designers such as Chanel, Comme De Garcons, and SCAD students. So if you are looking for some inspiration for your next project, or looking for ways to spice up your LBD, this exhibit is a must see!
You probably know Diane Von Furstenberg for her famous wrap dresses. For the dress that is featured in the LBD exhibit, she switched up her classic design with this matador style. The trim was actually made with chenille, which is typically used for carpeting. If I knew that that this type of fabric was sold at a carpeting store, I would have gone to one sooner!
This showstopper from Ralph Rucci is made from silk with a chenille macramé inspired embroidery. Ralph Rucci was actually at SCAD last year to receive the André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement award, along with having an exhibit in the museum. Fun Fact: Ralph Rucci is the only American Designer that is allowed to make couture clothing.
Another interesting and creative fabric choice at the exhibit was Neoprene, the fabric used to make wetsuits! Each of these four dresses were completely different from each other but were all made from a form of the fabric. From left to right, we have Lavin, Jil Sander, Alexis Asplundh (a recent SCAD grad), and Cushnie et Ochs. I was surprised to hear that Neoprene is actually a really versatile fabric. Unlike most other fabrics, you are able to drape with it or make something really structured.
The beading on this Ralph Lauren Dress was amazing, and it was actually the Chrysler building that inspired this stunner! I love it when something totally unrelated to fashion inspires something as beautiful as this!
This Mariano Fortuny dress (left) is quite vintage; it is 105 years old, but that isn’t what makes this dress so special. The silk is pleated without any setting chemicals, but instead used a special technique with a hatbox. Unfortunately, the technique died with Fortuny though, so if the pleats came out of this dress, it would be ruined. It is amazing to me that this dress was made 105 years ago with such an old technique! It’s something that I could see walking down the runway today!
The dress on the right is from Chanel and was donated to the museum by Anna Wintour. It’s hanging on the wall because it wouldn’t fit on a mannequin because she is smaller than a size 0. It says a lot that Anna Wintour, the most powerful woman in fashion has the simplest dress in the whole exhibit.
All photos by Kim Lewis