To quote a bit of Emerson for your Monday evening pleasure. Though not to be overly sentimental, but I'm feeling more poetic about fashion today than usual following my first tour through The Frist Center for the Visual Art's Golden Age of Couture exhibit (accompanied by the more prominent stream of Emerson's words in my life following the arrival of my goddaughter Emerson). To top it all off, the couture shows have started in Paris and if I give myself reason enough (which honestly doesn't take much), I get all dreamy and moon-eyed at the very thought of couture.
Ok, let's be honest -- I almost cried, I think I squealed and I came very close to begging for more time at the exhibit on Saturday. For those of you who know the trail of fashion history, specifically couture, you know the very real role that the "New Look" played in setting off a spiral of creativity, evolution and overall economic impact of the fashion industry on the rest of the world. It is simply legendary. And to this we all owe Christian Dior a massive debt of gratitude. He will always be my favorite designer, favorite house, favorite everything. To stand in front of the Bar suit, nothing separating me from it but museum grade plexiglass, will turn into one of those redefining moments in my life. It's no different than the first time I stood in front of a Pollock at the Phillip's Collection or when I finally got to see The Arnolfini Marriage by van Eyck at the National Gallery in London or even walking through the sculpture garden at the Louvre or the endless hours I stood in the Pre-Raphaelite wing of The Tate. It was breathtaking, moving and invigorating. I stood still, trying to memorize every seam line -- finally giving up because somewhere you know such perfection can never be reinterpreted let alone replicated. Dior, you are my hero.
And so the reigning King Supreme of Couture, John Galliano, showed his Dior Fall Couture Collection in Paris today and it was if the whole world had suddenly come alive with Dior on its breath like the wind in the night. Obviously inspired by flowers, Galliano as usual took his vision to a completely untouchable and ethereal level. Theatrics not withstanding, the skill it takes to bring a simple flower to life, the eye for detail (right down to the florist-wrap headpieces) is not at all unlike art. For anyone who has ever thought there is no art in fashion, I dare them to argue that when it comes to the House of Dior...now or then.
Time to stop and smell the flowers.