Lillian Bassman, The V-Back Evenings, Dress by Pauline Trigère, Model Suzy Parker, Harper's Bazaar, New York, July 1955. Courtesy of the artist.
Ritual and Invention in American Fashion 1920–1980
Organized by the Museum’s Department of Costume and Textiles and curated by Joanne Dolan Ingersoll, Cocktail Culture is the first multi-disciplinary exhibition to explore the social ritual of drinking and entertainment through the lens of fashion and design. The exhibition will feature more than 150 objects—including decorative art such as barware and furniture and graphic arts, photography, and advertising—with examples of cocktail attire by Cristobal Balenciaga, Pierre Balmain, Geoffrey Beene, Pierre Cardin, Hattie Carnegie, Coco Chanel, Ceil Chapman, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, Jacques Fath, James Galanos, Hubert de Givenchy, Halston, Mr. John, Sally Victor, Jeanne Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent, Claire McCardell, Norman Norell, Jean Patou, Elsa Schiaparelli, Pauline Trigère, and other designers.
Film Series: Cocktail Culture on the Silver Screen
Haute couture costumes and lavish sets fill the big screen during monthly screenings of classic and celebrated films highlighting cultural moments considered in the exhibition Cocktail Culture. The films, introduced by Tom Roberts, RISD professor of history, are free and co-sponsored by Cable Car Cinema.
Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston
Thursday, April 21, 6:30pm | Michael P. Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center
This documentary chronicles the life and career of Halston the iconic American fashion designer who reigned as the dissolute king of 1970s NYC nightlife. Featuring interviews with clients and friends, including Liza Minnelli, Billy Joel and André Leon Talley. (2009/90 min./not rated)
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
Thursday, May 19, 7pm | Michael P. Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center
In Luis Buñuel's deliciously satiric, Oscar-winning masterpiece, an upper-class sextet sits down to dinner but never eats, their attempts repeatedly thwarted by a vaudevillian mixture of events both actual and imagined. A timeless satire about consumerism and class privilege. (1972/100 min./Parental Guidance suggested)
Thursday, June 16, 6:30pm | Michael P. Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center
Fred Astaire plays a fashion photographer, based on Richard Avedon (the designer of the opening title sequence), in this musical co-starring Audrey Hepburn as a newly discovered, reluctant fashion model. (1957/100 min./not rated)
Thursday, July 21, 6pm | Michael P. Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center
Rosalind Russell as larger-than-life Mame Dennis, who unexpectedly gains custody of her young nephew Patrick in 1920s New York. As Patrick grows, he learns to live by Auntie Mame’s motto: “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!” (1958/140 min./not rated)
Cocktail Culture Classes:
RISD|Continuing Education offers courses inspired by the stunning fashions on view in Cocktail Culture. Fine Sewing Techniques for Apparel (12 sessions, March 3-May 26, Thursdays, 6:30-9:30pm) is designed for the sewer who wants to take their skills to the next level. Dressing for Drinking: The Cocktail’s Place in Fashion History (6 sessions, April 7-May 19, 6:30-9:30pm) focuses on the history of cocktail attire, as well as the accompanying changes in the social landscape through the 1920s to 80s. The Art of Shopping for Vintage Clothing (1 session, Wednesday, May 18, 6:30-8:30pm) helps students cultivate their own sense of style while gaining valuable skills in buying and collecting vintage clothing and accessories. Museum members receive a 10% discount on Continuing Education classes. To learn more and register.
I know you are all snowed in back east right now, but I'm sure come April, this will be a very good reason to leave the house!