Saturday, August 9, 2008

La Belle Epoque at the Vancouver Museum

Women's Fashions of
La Belle Époque 1890 - 1914

I went and saw La Belle Époque which showcased real clothing from the 1890 - 1914. I was surprised that much of the clothing was from Vancouver or British Columbia, because with all of the research I've done on the internet, the fashion center was France. But these clothes were worn by real women, which is amazing because the silhouettes range from high busted, narrow waisted figures, to even the non-mainstream fashions of women who refused to wear corsets. Everything was exquisite, and would easily cost a thousand dollars to reproduce today. There was a teal corset, black boots with dozens of straps but no tongue, brightly coloured accessories, and dresses with pleats and draping and painstaking details. Although the exhibit was not large- you could walk around the room in three minutes- it's easy to spend upwards of an hour peering at the beautiful textiles, seaming details, ornamentation, and comparing the evolving styles with each other and with contemporary clothing.