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Art history in a silk, satin, and muslin palette comes to the Legion of Honor.

Madame Eta Hentz, 1944

(1 of 11)

Madeline Vionnet, 1935

(2 of 11)

Madame Alex Gres, 1969

(3 of 11) 

Gilbert Adrian, 1949

(4 of 11) 

Elisa Schiaparelli, 1937

(5 of 11) 

Micol Fontana, 1954

(6 of 11) 

Elisa Schiaparelli, 1933-35

(7 of 11)

Gilbert Adrian, 1944

(8 of 11) 

Madame Alex Gres, 1937

(9 of 11) 

Jeanne Lanvin, 1923

(10 of 11) 

Elisa Schiaparelli, 1940

(11 of 11)


In the slideshow above, enter the vault of trends past: a flapper frock glittering with beads; a modest ’50s swimsuit; a voluminous gold jumpsuit from the early days of disco. An army of mannequins decked in such wearable art takes over the Legion of Honor this month during High Style, an exhibit of 65 masterworks from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection.

The exuberant show spans 1910 to 1980, featuring French couturiers like Christian Dior and Hubert de Givenchy and American greats like Charles James. Fashion buffs will geek out over mid-century sketches and deconstructed muslin gowns, but even normcore gallerygoers can delight in sartorial dares like Arnold Scaasi’s wild organza poppy explosion, below. MAR. 14–JULY 19, Legion of Honor

Originally published in the March issue of San Francisco

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