zaterdag 27 februari 2016

Museum opening outfit for Catwalk: Fashion at the Rijksmuseum

Here I am in front of a picture Erwin Olaf made for the exhibition Catwalk: Fashion at the Rijksmuseum & wall paper with the pattern of a wedding mantua from 1759. What a setting, and I was there for a reason!
 A week and a half ago I had a museum opening at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. This opening was different from others. Not only is it an exhibition about fashion I've also been working on it myself. I'm currently working at the Rijksmuseum as an academic assistant costume and have contributed to the exhibition by writing the infomational texts for each object amongst other things. So for the opening I had to wear something fabulous. It had to be a floorlength evening dress (3rd time to wear a long eveningdress within a month, I'm proud of myself!)
As the event would be very crowded I opted for a sleek lace dress. At first I had wanted to wear a grand 1950's tafeta gown but I decided it to be to voluminous.  
The dress probably dates from the late 1930's and has the prettiest light blue collor.
I hadn't worn this dress for nearly 3 years so I was ever so glad to find it still fit me.
It is actually really a museum party dress as the last time I wore it was at the reopening party of the Rijksmuseum in April 2013.
I was dancing ;)
I've also worn it in 2011 at the opening of an exhibition I curated myself for a provincial museum. Rather a different look though:
So lucky my hair is a bit shorter now so I can do without an updo :)

I rather liked how my pincurls turned out that evening (except for a few of those loose ends)

Instead of a large flower I wore an elaborate neckalace and matching earrings.

I had invited a lot of friends who came dressed in vintage or historic costume. I was so busy that evening I forgot to take pictures of their amazing looks...such a pity. They were gorgeous!
Photo: Martine Teunissen/Beleef het Verleden (
Luckily I have this picture of myself with Martine who was wearing an 18th century reproduction gown she made herself! Oh how well she matched the dresses in the exhibition!

Photo: Gaby Laudy

And antoher one Martine got from a visitor of Nikki & Melchior (as Victoria & Albert, ), Angela & Jasper (in 17th century costume https:, Martine (18th century costume) & Sander (in 20th century costume)
Elisabeth, straight from the 17th century! Stole the photo from her Facebook
Photo: Martine Teunissen/Beleef het Verleden
Annemarie was wearing a late 1910's/20's beaded chemise. Now she has bobbed her hair she reminds me even more of Evangeline Eliott (from the House of Eliott series)

I´m so sad I do not have any pictures of Martine, Hasan, Lynn, Jip, Sjoerd  and Frank who looked their mid-century best, and Charlotte & Merel who came back from the 80's!
Below just a few snapshots of the exhibition. As this blog is not really work-related I will not write too much about the actual exhib here. For more info & pics please look at the blog I wrote for Modemuze:
First room with childrens clothes.
The 'catwalk' with fashion from the first half of the 20th century.
A grand wedding gown: vanity fair
18th century dresses

I think this might be my new favorite!

The shilhouettes room, where the mannequins have wigs!

And below just a a few professional photo´s they do the objects much more justice!

Afb. 6 De zaal Feest! Met de japon van Helena Slicher. De foto van Erwin Olaf is te zien in de spiegel achter de jurk. Foto: Carola van Wijk.
 Last room of the exhibition, Photo by Carola van Wijk

Afb. 5 Erwin Olaf, 2015, Ymre Stiekema en de japon van Helena Slicher.
Erwin Olaf, Ymre Stiekema in the wedding dress of Helena Slicher (1759) 

This image was created espcecially for the exhibition by photographer Erwin Olaf, who did the scenery/design. The model is not actually wearing the dress. They were photographed individually and then photoshopped into one image.
So happy a colleague made some pictures of me in the exhibition, before the large crowds came in :)
Hope to be back soon with a blog about a weekend in Paris!

donderdag 18 februari 2016

Grand night out

About two weeks ago I had a very stylish night out with friends. I celebrated my birthday of the week before.

I wore a 1930's eveningdress that I got as a birthday present whilst shopping with my mother. It is of a liquid bias cut silk velvet en a very warm brown. I also bought the blue dress in the picture (which I wore to work on my actual birthday)

Below some outfit inspiration with similar dresses from 1937-1939 magazines.
One of the most stunning features of the dress is the deep back cleavage. A very common feature in the 30's but not without its problems, because normal lingerie would show.

These newspaper drawings from the early 30's show the popular bare back & a slipdress that was ajusted to it. 
Brassière, Le Grisina Ivisible, ca. 1928-1932, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
This original brassiere from the late 20's/early 30's I've researched for my thesis gave me the idea how to ajust my own to the bare back dress.
The solution is a single elastic strap with hooks and eyes at the ends.
You clip it on one side of your brah wrap it around your body and attach it to the other side. Will work with almost every bra.
You CAN buy these ofcourse but way cheaper (and far more fun) to make it yourself.
As for the accessoiries, I kept it demure as the dress was quite sexy enough in itself:
My favorite haircomb again, earrings of glass beads with tassels & a wool fabric purse
 My friend Martine stayed over and we dressed up together. One of the things I love about going out are the preparations, and they are so much more fun when you are with more than one girl.
The picture below, again from an old newpaper, captures the atmosphere of dressing up perfectly I think.

This is me in the dress.
These pictures were taken at the party in the the powder room. It suits the theme of dressing up so I show them here. It really was a powder/dressing room where we all touched up our make-up and secured bits of our outfits (and took the occasional sip from a hipflask with  strong liquor ;))

These lovely ladies are: Sabra in a dress from 1928 she borrowed from me, Annemarie in an early 30's dress I found for her years ago, a girl we just met in white, Martine in a velvet dress she found the day before after her other dress dit not arrive in time & me.
Before going to the party we had dinner at Grand Café 1e Klas at Amsterdam Central Station where I tend to go a LOT. 
Another  vintage picture showing a decadent dinner with beautiful people, great inspiration for my birthday dinner:  

The atmosphere was (again) captured perfectly by Loïc. So all credits of the photo's below: Loïc Benot 
 Martine (there are two, confusing I know & more on het outfit later) and me in front of one of the 'palmtrees' at the restaurant.

The grand Café has a very authentic 19th century feel to it. It used to be the waiting room for the firstclass passengers. Because it is situated at Central Station it is an ideal place to meet up with people which I do regularly. It looks quite fancy but it is actually still affordable.

Lynn, her hair, such perfection!

 Martine expressing herself ;)
 Girls talk, talk talk ;)

 The clocks still remind you this was once a waiting room.
Then off to the party: Lili Marleen at the Grand hotel, so the theme was The Grand Amsterdam Hotel (parody on the title of the Wes Anderson movie, 'The Grand Budapest Hotel', you must see if you haven't already). I was lucky this party took place only a week after my birthday so I did not have to bother organizing anything myself!
Some more newpaper pictures from 1929, depicting a similar party ;)

The Grand used to be the town hall of Amsterdam and the room where the party was held used to be the city counsil chamber. It was refurbished in the late 1920's by some big names in Dutch design of the interwar years. The interior was designed by Willem Penaat, with statues of Hildo Krop, Mendes da Costa and others and wall paintings by Thorn Prikker. These names might mean little to people outside the Netherlands but they were proponents of the Amsterdam School style that dominated architecture and design in Amsterdam from the 1910's to the 1930's.  
We were a stylish bunch!
Those lamps, that carpet (though probably not original)!

Even more stunning than the council chamber is the wedding chamber, with the most amazing wallpaintings. These were done by Chris Lebeau, in an art nouveau/symbolistic style. The symoblism was so abstract tiles had to be put over it during WWII because it was considered degerarate art by the nazis. Luckily they were not destroyed alltogether!
 Martine matched the color scheme so perfectly! She wore the 1920's reproductiondress that featured in my last post but added a train with feathers from her shoulders & wore some more feathers in her hair. To me it almost looked like a 1920's court presentation ensemble! So chique!
This last picture was taken at the after-party at a café. A bit more intimate compared to the big council room. It looks like I'm telling a story around a campfire in my eveningdress ;)  
For some more photo's check out the internet page of Martine's company with Loïc's  vintage style pictures:
So this was my grand night out in Amsterdam. But I've got much more exiting stuff to tell and show you.  Next posts will include a weekend in Paris & a fashion exhibition opening!