So I have finally managed to cull through the photos from my most recent trip to the De Young Museum with Mom.
This time around it was all about The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, 1950–1990. The exhibition should really be labeled “conspicuous consumption.” It is mind boggling to imagine anyone really owning one of these incredible pieces. These jewels may escape the confines of their velvet prisons for a day or two on the neck of some
star, but most of their lives are probably spent inside a cold, dark
vault. Which is sad, right?
I have the same problem with incredible vintage fashion. It is meant to be worn, but its life will be shortened by daily wear and tear. So it is better to preserve it in the pristine setting of a museum or vault, or should it be out in the world? I am not sure which answer makes me more comfortable. What I do know is . . . I have never seen such gorgeous emeralds in person, and probably never will ever again! Photos really cannot do justice to these pieces, and I am so pleased that I had a chance to see them with my own eyes.
A trip to the museum always gets me into a heated discussion with my boss about what deserves the title of “art” and what truly belongs in a museum. He would never be caught dead in the Bvlgari exhibit (even though he visits this museum frequently). He insists that these things are a sell out and that fashion exhibitions and the like do not belong in an art museum.
I did manage to get him into the Gaultier exhibit last year (but that probably had more to do with the fact that I happened to mention there were quite a few photos of attractive young models showing quite a bit of flesh).
How can something (even if it is made of fabric or mineral) with exquisite attention to composition, color, form, line, etc., not be considered art? And is the creator of these "fashion" pieces not considered an artist?
I do not always want to see the suffering of the world on display – sometimes escapism is needed, even on the walls of a museum. Can’t something be just about beauty for beauty’s sake? Does it have to make some political impact to be important?
In my world, it certainly does not. That may be naive, but it is how I get through the day.
Dress: Made by me, Vogue 883
Bolero: Made by me, Butterick 4927
Shoes: Colin Stuart
Necklace: Banana Republic