sculpture outside of portland art museum

Ever since I saw the building high banners announcing the Italian Fashion Exhibit that was making its way to the Portland Art Museum, I’ve been itching to go. However, life and the day to day seemed to fly by, through February, (plenty of time!), March (ages left!), April (I should think about that)- and today, the 3rd of May, and the very last day to see it!

Today was the perfect day to catch the exhibit- the sun was shining, and the streetcar between my neighborhood and the museum was the most wonderful way to travel unencumbered. Luckily, I left my day wide open and was able to take it in with a friend- and thank goodness I gave myself time. I was excited to see the exhibit, but I had no idea just how sucked into the world of fashion, folds, lace, and glitter I would be.

My friend and I were giddy at each new discovery- a perfectly cut suit here, an ethereal ball gown there- and then what we dubbed the Pants of Penzance. I have no way to describe the horror that was the pleated knee length jumper suit- it was unleashed upon the world in 1981, and must have taken some serious cruise ship level towel folding skills to create. It was all ruffles and swirling pleats- it had a strange mixture between shoulder pads and what seemed like wings, and the same effect mirrored on the bottom half of the pants.  Besides a few bizarre entries, the exhibit was incredible (even the bizarre outfits were artfully made, if not total head-scratchers).

I haven’t had a solid museum sketch sesh like that in quite some time- I’m so pleased with it I’ll catalogue the results below:

italian fashion sketch by Grace Anderson
This was by far my favorite dress- the back was draped in red crepe silk with red silk flowers fading into a translucent tulle train.

 

italian fashion sketch by Grace Anderson

italian fashion sketch by Grace Anderson
The dress on the right featured a curtain of beads across the back that I imagined would sway and shimmer just so.

 

italian fashion sketch by Grace Anderson

italian fashion sketch by Grace Anderson
This dress was crimson silk, from 1950- it looked like the moulin Rouge dress in reverse.

 

italian fashion sketch by Grace Anderson
I thought this glittering caftan would make an amazing set of pajamas for my latest character, Laurel.

 

 

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