This past weekend I was able to get together with a few of my fellow costumer friends and view the
"Pulp Fashion" Exhibit at The Legion of Honor in San Francisco. We were not permitted to take pictures of the exhibit, so I am only posting a couple of pictures from their publicity photos.
Here is the link to the exhibit for any who are interested in seeing it.
On to the review:
This exhibit was interesting and wonderful. First, all of the fashion is made of paper. My first thought at seeing the various gowns represented was "wow, I can't even do this with fabric..." The textiles are painted and even the lace was made of thin wispy paper and there were ruffs cut from cardboard. Layers of paint were used to achieve depth and to create the patterns on some of the painted textiles. There were some pieces where we all huddled closely to the gown and had to examine parts to make sure it was really paper.
Second, there was a huge variety of time periods represented. Most of the gowns represented are fairly well known gowns that I've only been able to experience through portraits, fashion plates, and in some cases pretty pictures from other collections. Some of my absolute favorites from both 16th century and 19th century were there looking splendid. Being able to see a 3-D representation of the gowns in life size was really interesting even not being made of actual fabric they still brought inspiration and ideas for how to create some of the styles. There were also accessories including hats, shoes, hair pieces, and jewelry all made from paper.
Granted of course being made of paper there are aspects that were not brought to life and some of the ensembles had carefully crafted jewels of paper and some just had jewels painted on. The same can be said for some of the trims, some were carefully constructed out of separate pieces and some were more like cut out pictures added to the gown. As a lovely extra treat, on the walls were some authentic textile samples as well as a few pieces of 16 century lace which added some flavor and additional interest to the rest of the exhibit
Overall it made for a lovely outing, the Legion of Honor itself is amazing even the cafe had good food. If you have the time I would recommend a day trip to San Francisco and The Legion of Honor.