Since my last excursion ended with an experience with Chanel and Kate Spade, it was only fitting that Christian Dior was next. Around mid-November, I got a chance to go to the Brooklyn Museum to see the Christian Dior exhibit, making it my first trip to the Brooklyn Museum. The exhibit, entitled, “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams,” was being featured for a limited time only and contained the best works to showcase Christian Dior’s legacy. After hauling ass to get to the Brooklyn Museum on time, I met up with David Gersen, a personal friend of my mother and father’s from their college days, known for being fabulous and fun. Having followed him on Facebook for years now and hearing my mother talk about him ad nauseam, I felt as though I knew him already by the time we met up at the museum. Walking through the Christian Dior exhibit was like walking through my dream closet. There’s something so satisfying about well-cut, form-fitting dresses, almost all of which I would have worn.
I found it interesting to learn about the different ideas that informed Dior’s work, such as his belief in the idea of American friendliness not being a myth, the culture of the time, and the softness of western style, amalgamating in dresses that celebrated femininity in their time. There were floor to ceiling shelves of stark white outfits, mannequins covered in head to toe black, and vibrant bursts of color lining the walls.
Dior’s life was short but his hold over the fashion industry continues to this day. He spent his limited time designing dresses that communicate a love for life and a love for women. He made dresses that were so bold you would expect the dresses to wear the women and not the other way around, yet instead of being swallowed up by the fabric the women were molded into the dresses, almost like it was fated. I loved the glamour of it all. There was something inspiring about it, the way that you could stand a few feet away from a dress that he hand-stitched and feel the commitment he made to it.
After strolling through the exhibit, David and I had lunch in the Brooklyn Museum’s restaurant where he promptly spilled the tea on what my parents were like in college. Apparently, my parents were quite the fun, talented, and creative individuals back during their college years, not unlike how I would like to be viewed now during mine.
Following our outing to the museum, we headed to Greenwich Village to attend one of the final performances of a new play. “Fairycakes,” was a comedy about fairies from various stories and was kind of like if they made “Into the Woods” with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” It was hilarious and fun. There was rhyming, beautiful costumes, and actors doubling as other characters. The plot was complicated and entertaining, making it just the right show for me after not having seen any theater in so long.
I am not sure how to sum up my love for good fashion and style. I’m not even fully sure where it comes from, because I’ve never given it any thought. In high school, I wrote an extended essay about the changes in women’s fashion in the 20th century being indicative of their increasingly active roles in society in a bid for my international baccalaureate diploma. Basically, I was exploring how we went from corsets in 1919 to Calvin Kleins in 1990.
I was amazed by how the whole event managed to be a visual paradise without being an assault to the senses and how the exhibit made me feel like I would look as fabulous as Marilyn Monroe when wearing a black velvet dress with a bow in the back.
I was utterly charmed by David and his extensive knowledge of theater and art. We had a wonderful day in the city together. I cannot wait to go back to the Brooklyn Museum and to see more shows when I’m back in New York, and until we meet again: Love you, David!
The Tragic Queen,