Threads of History

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  If you are in Atlanta and have not yet visited SCAD FASH, do yourself a favor and GO NOW.  Drop everything and go.  If you are reading this blog, I will assume that this is a subject of interest for you.  What is SCAD FASH?  Located at the SCAD Atlanta campus (1600 Peachtree Street NW), SCAD FASH is a museum, dedicated to the celebration of fashion and film.

Last night, I had the pleasure of meeting Alexandra Sachs, Executive Director of SCAD FASH and Atlanta galleries.  She provided some very interesting insight into the museum’s operations.  Alexandra and her team are responsible for the styling of the exhibitions.  Let me back up…  these are not your typical “displays”.  The work that has been done here goes beyond any type of curating that I have seen.  The way that they present these unique pieces is nothing short of extraordinary.   In lieu of traditional dress forms, Alexandra decided to use life size marionette scultpures to display these designs.  The actual form of the “body” had to be individually sculpted out of foam in order for these tiny – waisted dresses to fit.  Current day dress forms are not made for the shape produced by the overbearing corsets of yesteryear.  An interesting fact that you would never know, and yet just one small piece of the puzzle.

It’s all in the details…

What do you do when you have an entire facility and student body of fine artists at your disposal?  You take advantage of that talent!  The projected animations were done by an animation student.  The wallpaper is actually a large scale painting by one of the painting professors.  Everything you see in this museum is an original work of art.  I am not posting photos of this here, as they would not do the exhibition justice.

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The photo above was taken from SCAD FASH website

The show is split into two parts… “Embellished: Adornment Through the Ages”, on view until January 29, 2017.  This collections features exquisitely embellished accessories dating back to the early 1700s, as well as original prints of “La Mode Illustree” – one of the first ever published French fashion magazines.  This was indeed a treat.  La Mode Illustree was a subject of my undergraduate thesis exhibition.

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And “Threads of History: Two Hundred Years of Fashion”, on view until March 19, 2017.  A fashion show that takes you on a journey through history, beginning with the 1700s, most pieces likely belonging to wealthy aristocrats, all the way up to roaring 20s.  If only these dresses could talk… what secrets would they tell of the women that wore them as they sipped champagne from teacups and danced on tables?

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Most of these pieces are on loan from world-renowned Italian fashion professor and collector Raffaello Piraino, whose legendary collection, housed in Palermo, Italy, consists of more than 5,000 garments and accessories that belonged to the Sicilian aristocracy and bourgeoisie.

Why do they not take this show on the road?  After all, SCAD is a non-profit organization (although my bank account would suggest otherwise), so they really could use the extra revenue.  This show is truly awe-inspiring and specifically because of how the team at SCAD has packaged it.  The emence talent that is on display in even the bathrooms, could host an artist’s reception for which not many others could compare.  I cannot imagine this not thriving as a traveling exhibition, especially when backed by the SCAD name.

Kudos to Alexandra Sachs, Rachel Evans, and the rest of the team at SCAD FASH.  I cannot express what a fabulous addition this is to Atlanta’s art scene.

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