Month: March 2014

Travelogue de Mode: Bath Fashion Museum

About this time last year, I visited the Bath Fashion Museum in Bath, England. It’s a great small museum with a rotating collection. The big draw when I was there was 50 Fabulous Frocks, a showcase of fifty dress to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the museum.

I wrote a little piece about it for Steampunk Chronicle.

I also made a little video of my photos.

By the way, Steampunk Chronicle is now in the voting stage for the 2014 Reader’s Choice Awards. If you are interested take a look and vote. You will need to register with the site to do so! I was nominated as Best Dressed Female in 2012 and 2013.

The Vivian Connection

Thanks to the exemplary blog Messy Nessy Chic, I was just introduced to the photographs of Vivian Maier. Vivian was a previously “unknown” photographer who shot over 100,000 images mostly with her Rolleiflex camera.

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What is unique about Vivian Maier is that she was an amateur photographer who worked predominately as a nanny in Chicago for over 40 years. Apparently she shot on the streets in all of her free time, was very private and did not process the majority of the film she shot. Her work was discovered by accident by when a lot of 30,000 of her prints and negatives came up for auction. They were from a storage locker whose contents were sold when Maier could no longer pay its fees.

Vivian Maier had an innate sense of composition and judging by her output, a love for observation and the process of capturing images.

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A feature documentary, Finding Vivian Maier, about the photographer and the discovery of her images, has been making the festival rounds. It was directed by John Maloof, who purchased the lot of 30,000 images and Charlie Siskel, one of the producers of Bowling for Columbine.

Reading about Vivian Maier, I was immediately struck by coincidences to the circumstances of another prolific “unknown” artist, Henry Darger.

Untitled Works By Henry Darger

Henry Darger was a reclusive Chicago janitor who has posthumously become one of the world’s most celebrated outsider artists due to his 15,145 page illustrated magnum opus, The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. Darger’s work was discovered accidentally by his landlords shortly before Darger’s death.

Of course, there is also a documentary about the discovery and work of Darger, entitled In the Realms of the Unreal. You can watch the complete film via Youtube.

Two “secret” artists both working predominantly in Chicago. (Maier lived in France and New York before moving to Chicago in 1956.) Prodigious output. Discovery barely before death, but acclaim, and presumably reward for the “discoverers”, after. And finally the name, Vivian.

Strange, beautiful yet sad parallels.

 

Vivian Maier images from The Maloof Collection.


Random Daily Fashion – Belgian Sailor Pants

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been over in the UK and Belgium! I have lots to share about all of that, but in the meantime, I’m going to share my new pants!

One of the reasons I started this blog is because people on Facebook said I should post about my closet. So here is the first post like that. My mom bought me these linen pants (and also the same pair in black) at a store in Bruges called Paprika. Apparently these shops are in Belgium, France and ship to surrounds like Luxembourg. They specialize in plus sizes. Some of the clothes were very cute — my mom bought a pretty awesome navy blue pleather moto style jacket — but some of them suffer from the standard weirdness of “plus size retail”. When I tried on these pants I wasn’t so sure they fit me. The sales lady came and took a look and told me that I had them on backwards — I thought the front pockets went on the bum! She also added that that type of confusion was not uncommon in the store….

Paired with the striped shirt it looked so sailor-y I decided I needed a scarf. this one is brown tulle edged with brown lace. I’m honestly not convinced that it’s actually for wearing. It might be a weird doily. It was a little itchy but worked ok. It came from a vintage scarf bonanza that was recently gifted to me.

I was only going to Target but I felt like looking a little decent after all the post trip sloth time. Nothing like a jaunty outfit to perk one up!