High fashion in the Holy City
Posted 7/2/2012 4:44:00 PM
has always been a city of high style, good taste and elegant fashions. Now through Nov. 4, the Charleston Museum’s
exhibit Charleston Couture traces 200 years of the city’s fashion trends.
The exhibition showcases gowns, suits and accessories worn by Charlestonians from 1770-1970. As citizens of a wealthy port city, people from Charleston were well traveled and had great access to the latest fashions from Europe. On display are 19th century gowns by Charles Frederick Worth, widely considered to be the “father of haute couture” and Spanish fashion designer Mariano Fortuny. Also featured are dresses by local Charleston dressmakers.
The dresses in this show are simply exquisite. The sumptuous fabrics, dripping with embellishments, are lavish, elegant and graceful. It’s also fascinating to see how dramatically fashions have changed over just 200 years. The early pieces are made of layer upon layer of embroidered fabric, which is meant to be worn over elaborate underpinnings and hoops. Later pieces – like the coral silk chiffon cocktail dress – conform to the body’s natural shape and are charming in their easiness and flow.
The Charleston Museum is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 3-12, and free for children 2 and younger.
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