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Along Abbey Road | A Lifestyle And Family Blog : In the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies


In the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies

The other day one of my friends on Facebook posted a link to a page that read,

The earth without art is just "eh".

I had never before heard this saying and I absolutely fell in love with it. I couldn't agree more!

My daytrip to the Phoenix Art Museum was heavenly!

Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed of the Ann Bonfoey Taylor exhibit. It was basically a 30 minute crash course of Couture 101. I am a bit ashamed to admit this, but I never knew the true definition of couture. I guess I always assumed it was just expensive, designer clothing without really thinking of the literal meaning of "designer". Ready for a mini history lesson? Yes!? I thought you'd say that! 
The word couture originated from the Old French word cousture which simply means to sew. Throughout Europe, mainly in France and Spain, designers had their own couture design houses. Only the most wealthy and refined women would commission the designers to create one-of-a-kind looks (none of this mass produced, ready to wear, size run from 0 to 16 in assorted colors mumbo jumbo). Couture is designed specifically to the buyers' body, taste, and preferences of style & detail. I feel the term "couture" is used so loosely today in the fashion world, that it's almost lost it's true sense of meaning. While Juicy Couture is fabulous, it's not real couture according to the original intended meaning.

Balenciaga suit c. 1950
Image from 1000museums.com

Ann Taylor Bonfoey was a woman who wore real couture and wore it well. She was a model in her youth for Harper's Bazaar and Vogue c. 1920s. This started her fashion love affair. Ann was an avid sportswoman, but had married young to a man who didn't approve of her sense of athleticism and adventure. Being the daredevil she was, Ann divorced him, paved her own success, remarried a dapper man by the surname of Taylor, and became a dazzling socialite. 

The looks showcased were the personal designs for Ms. Bonfoey Taylor from Givenchy, Balenciaga, and Madame Grès. They ranged from day to formal attire and included her athletic apparel from the 1940s to 1970s. I was shocked at how minimal the looks were, but many of the suits and sleek lines were groundbreaking in the fashion world at the time. As you can see in the picture below, she was a fashion icon beyond her time and independently created her own style, which was admired by many. She was and continues to be a true inspiration! I recommend you read up on her or check out the exhibit if you are here in Phoneix. It runs through May 29th.

If you are a lover of fashion, you are clearly an art lover of all kinds!

Here are a few of my other favorites I gathered while at the museum...

One of the most exhilarating experiences ever was entering this room. It is pitch black, completely covered in mirrors on every wall. The room is dimly lit by thousands of colorful LED lights, undulating in light intensity and hues. When I entered for the first time, it felt like I had transcended the boundaries of earth into an eternal, starry world. There is nothing else like it!

This is an expression of the bibliophile in me.

 Mixed media pieces always have the best array of colors.

 It was love at first sight when I saw Iris. Isn't she so elegant?

I love the audacity of the painter swooning & professing his love to a nun. What could be more romantic and passionate?

If I believed in reincarnation, in my previous life I would have lived in 18th century France, royal style...I just know it!

Last but not least, here is a blurry picture of my outfit in a piece of art! This was by some neon eternity mirrors (skirt, LOFT; cardi, Nordstrom; blouse, LOFT). I forgot to get the name of the work! Oopsies!

Hope you enjoyed your mini art tour! 

Thanks for reading and following, little lovers! Have a terrific Tuesday!


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At April 12, 2011 at 8:21 PM , Blogger Kimberly said...

great photos inspirational and love your outfit!



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