Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tiny Waists

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity at the Metropolitan Museum is going to be a blockbuster, so I suggest that you get up or down there ASAP. I went today and although it had a hefty crowd it was manageable, but no doubt it will be getting really busy as word of mouth gets out and the tourists start arriving.  It’s a stunning show, actually its spectacular,  spectacular as only the Met sometimes does of art and fashion with some magnificent works by great painters including Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas and my new friend James Tissot, who has the most works (10) in the show. I was not really familiar with his paintings, maybe he’s the one that got away, under my radar, but I really loved his stuff no matter if a critic thinks that his paintings “are fit for chocolate box covers”.  Pass those chocolates over to me honey.  Scattered about here and there are the real fashions, 14 dresses, a few of which are the exact ones that appear in some of the paintings.  There are black dresses, white dresses and tiny waists, tiny shoes, tiny feet, tiny gloves and tiny hands, along with hats (tiny heads) and smashing fans. Adding to the exhibit was the smell of perfumes and colognes drifting around my nose that many of the women viewing the show were wearing, sort of like arty Smell O Vision. This is a nice touch unplanned by the curators but still this can be seen as appropriate since so many of the paintings were very large and cinematic, especially in the final gallery where the great “Paris Street Rainy Day” by Gustave Caillebotte reigns supreme. There is also a gallery devoted to men’s fashions, again more tiny waists, tiny hats and tiny heads and it is in this gallery that my toes curled and my knees got weak looking at Whistler’s “Arrangement in Flesh Color & Black, Portrait of Theodore Duret”.  Comments overheard mainly concerned what relative or movie star the subjects in the paintings looked like, she looks “like my aunt” someone said and that one looks like Selma Hyake and come to think of it Tissot’s portrait of The Marquse de Miramon sort of looked like John Kelly in drag.


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