Today my Husband, Javier, and I visited The Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles located at 2982 Adeline Street in Berkeley, California. The Museum and Museum Shop are open Monday thru Saturday from 12pm until 6pm, and is a short walk from the Ashby BART Train Station.
Javier and I had never visited this location before, and we were both instantly impressed with the large retail store filled with abundant supplies for lace making, embroidery, and many other creative projects, as well as the vast historical artifacts preserved and on display.
The Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles was established in 2004, “to share and sustain the extensive collection of Kaethe and Jules Kilot, consisting of lace, textiles, costume, a related library, and the tools of the textile arts” (from the brochure Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles). The retail store was founded in 1965.
Take a look at just a few of the lovely displays of Historic Lace, Lace Parasols, and Lace Art that are currently on display...
The Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles has a collection that represents "40 years of dedication to the preservation of the finest of human handiwork" including "thousands of specimens from pre-Columbian Peru... the 17th and 18th Century European Courts, and examples of machine age exemplifying the 19th Century Industrial Revolution" (excerpt in quotations from the brochure Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles).
Here a few photos I took of some of the amazing collection pieces of Historical Lace Collars on display, as well as examples of Historical Black Lace Work:
In addition to the beautiful Historical Lace Artifacts on display, Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles offers rows and rows of Embroidery Floss and Threads of all colors, and fiber content, available for purchase. Recently, over the past few years, I myself started to practice Hand-Embroidery Techniques and Designs, and I immediately fell in love with the abundant Embroidery Supplies for sale here! I highly recommend Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles for all of your Embroidery needs!
Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles also offers beautiful Bridal Veils and supplies to create your own unique Bridal Accessories!
Have you ever made your own hat? Look no further for Hat Making Supplies such as Hat Frames for all the various hat styles you can possibly think of!
Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles also has an extensive collection of Historical Costume Patterns... As well as Hoop Skirts, and Petticoats of all shapes and sizes!
I was also very impressed by the extensive assortment of Corset Making Supplies, such as Corset Busks, Grommets, and Boning!
Another gem I was pleased to find here, is a plentiful library "focusing on lace, textiles, and costumes, including over 12,000 items of books, patterns, articles, and other ephemera" (excerpt in quotations from the brochure Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles).
I also enjoyed finding vintage inspired notions such as Ring Finger Pin Cushions, Spool Knaves, as well as ornate scissors, and scissor holders. Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles also carries a wide range of needle-working tools for knitting and crochet.
Check out this delightful Bobbin Lace art, titled "San Francisco". This piece was handmade in the 1970's by the members of The Northern California Lace Guild, and donated to the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my visit to The Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles in Berkeley, California! Check out their web-site, www.lacismuseum.org, for more information, or to sign up to the "Friends of the Museum" bi-weekly newsletter. Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles also offers Lace Making Classes. Admission is currently free of charge.
I hope that you have a Fantastic Day! Until next time, dear Readers!
Last week, my Fiancé, Step-Children, and I, took a day trip from Hayward, and journeyed across the bay, to The Legion of Honor, located on Land’s End in the beautiful city of San Francisco. Although I grew up in the East Bay Area, I relocated to the Central Valley as a teen, limiting my exposure to historical sites of the Bay. I had never visited this museum previously, and was happily surprised to find a tranquil palace atop rolling hills veiled by a curtain of cloud-like fog.
The building itself is a large Neo-Classical structure, a three quarter scaled replica of Palais de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris (1788), and was completed in 1924. When walking up to the museum entrance, I felt like I was walking back in time, as a colonnade of large Ionic Columns peered down upon myself and the other lowly human visitors staring up in awe. Although I adore architectural design, the reason for our visit, was not to study the architecture of the building, but to “ooo” and “ahh” over another type of human design… The “High Style” Fashion Exhibit, which had traveled all the way from the East Coast, to make its appearance here, in the West!
The Legion of Honor
I love visiting museums. I have always enjoyed not only creating art, but admiring the masters of art of times past, for as long as I can remember. My family and I arrived at The Legion of Honor with sketchbooks in hand, eager to draw out any inspiration we might glean from our trip. Before making our way to the "High Style" Exhibit, we leisurely walked through the large rooms of historical paintings, sculpture, and other artifacts currently on display. Check out a few of the photos that I took:
One of my favorite exhibits we came to, were the mammoth tapestries on display from The Triumph of the Seven Virtues Series, 1535. They were so intricate in detail, and beautiful in color. I could only image how vibrant the colors would have looked when these tapestries were first woven almost 500 years ago!
And now, for the real treat! The "High Style" Exhibit!
The “High Style” Exhibit is composed of selected Masterworks from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. When I first heard of this exhibit’s arrival, I knew I had to, (absolutely, positively, had to) see it for myself. Can you imagine, my fellow fashion lovers, being in the same room as vintage pieces designed by the masters we have all studied and loved? Worth, Dior, St. Laurent, Schiaparelli, and James, just to name a few! And to think, their gowns were right before me, in pristine condition, decades after their construction!
Here are some of the photos I took of this lovely exhibit, along with more in depth information I learned about the some of the designers.
The House of Worth
Charles Worth is often known as the man who started it all, the “Grandfather of Couture”. When Charles Worth, an Englishmen, started his dressmaking business in Paris, in 1858, he applied innovative concepts and artistic elements to dressmaking that had never been done before. Worth’s clientele were royalty, and other wealthy citizens of the day. The Brooklyn Museum obtained their first dresses that were made by The House of Worth in 1926, and continued to grow in their collection of Worth pieces. What I found most interesting is that Charles Worth, was the first designer for his design house. Following in his footsteps, was his son, Jean-Philippe Worth. Then, in the following generation after Jean-Philippe, was Charles' grandson, Roger. Fascinating how all three generations of Worth's were master couture dress makers.
Since her debut in 1927, Elsa Schiaparelli, an Italian born designer, captured the imagination of the fashion audience with her bold visual designs and uniquely surreal artistic qualities. Often, her designs include one-of-a-kind embellishments, such as piano shaped buttons, bright metallic threaded embroidery, or unique textile combinations. It is obvious that Elsa loved to push boundaries and create garments that were both functional, one of a kind, and, at times, bizarre. Her love of art, and great talent led to much collaboration with Surrealists artists such as Jean Cocteau, and Salvador Dali. Elsa Schiaparelli extended her talents not only to dress making, but Elsa also designed jewelry, shoes, and hats. Elsa Schiaparelli is one of my personal all-time favorites, and I find that she and myself have similar design aesthetics, as I too enjoy creating garments with bold unique designs and interesting color and textile combinations, as she once did.
"The Essence of Fashion is Change."
While exploring the displays presented in the "High Style' Exhibit, I could see clearly, the change in both silhouettes, use of textiles, and the progression of innovative concepts used by the designers over the course of the century. I loved that many of the costumes were free standing and not in any enclosures, which allowed viewers to lean over and see each stitch and design detail clearly. Following, are pictures that I took, in the museum, of Couture Designer pieces from the 1920's through the 1970's. I hope you gain as much inspiration from this beautiful collection as I did. Enjoy!
Charles James is by far one of the most fascinating designers I have ever viewed the creations of. His construction techniques are awe-inspiring. Interestingly the book, High Style, describes James as "not having had formal dressmaking training, he developed his own methodology based on mathematical, architectural, and sculptural concepts as they related to the human body."
I was able to capture a few of his stunning works of art in the following photos: Enjoy!
I hope that you enjoyed this article about my recent visit to the Legion of Honor! Be sure to subscribe to my blog by clicking the "RSS Feed" Button to the right-hand side of your screen, under my Author Bio!
Reeder, Jan G. High Style: Masterworks from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 4th Printing, 2014.
Tortora and Eubank. Survey of Historic Costume. Fairchild Brooks Publishing. 4th Printing, 2011.
Hello Readers! Welcome to my Blog! I am Roxanne Rodriguez Rangel, a Fashion Designer from Northern California. I love all things Fashion, particularly historical fashion! Join me, as I take you around Northern California, covering fashion events and related topics!