Monday, September 13, 2021

Visiting some new exhibits at the Brooklyn Museum

If you've been following me for awhile, you know I love museums and their exhibits. I try to go to every fashion related one in NYC. Also, I know I'm blessed to live in a city with so much access to these events and appreciate every minute of it. Besides missing people, I've missed museum trips! I've most especially missed spending time with my friends.  Thanks Wanett (sewnbrooklyn on IG) for spending the day with me, it was just everything!

Honestly pre-pandemic, I wouldn't go to the Brooklyn Museum, declaring it was too far to travel on public transportation. I've since changed my mind! *LOL*  Sitting at home for 18 months makes you realize the importance of experiencing as much as you can. Y'all I don't drive, so this was a trip totally done on public transportation. An Uber to NJTransit train to NYC, then an Uber to the Museum reverse it to come home...but it was so worth it!

Please note this is a picture heavy post.

There were two exhibits I wanted to see ~

The Obamas Portrait Tour which will be in Brooklyn until October 24th

and the 

Christian Dior Designer of Dreams exhibit that will be in Brooklyn until February 20, 2022.

I took a lot of pictures beginning with my trip across the Manhattan Bridge...

My Uber was stopped at the light and I loved the graffiti
versus fire escape color on this building...

Columns at the Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum is doing timed entrance tickets so our first set of tickets were for The Obama Portraits. I loved that there was biographical information on the artists who painted the portraits, why Michelle chose that dress, and the mediums used to paint the pictures.

We had a short snack and talked and talked while we waited for our timed admittance to the Christian Dior Exhibit. Now I'm going to admit this exhibit made me cry. By the end of it I was so overwhelmed with how it was displayed, the sensory perceptions and the beauty of the garments, that I cried. Thank goodness for masks because no one could see me lose my sh*t!

Wanett and I took a lot of pictures and this is the combination of both of our picture taking efforts. I'm sharing them as they appear in the exhibit with a little commentary thrown in.

This is right as you enter the front 
and it's a quilted textile

I loved that cranberry dress in the middle. If I was still working
in Corporate America, I would be scheming how to interpret it!

The pleated skirt on this dress was awesome!

"The New Look" outfit!

Natalie Portman's Dior Commercial Dress

The next section shared garments by other House of Dior designers.  I only took a few pictures here because so much of this has been shared on social media and in magazines. At this point this still seemed like a regular museum exhibit. A really thorough and well displayed exhibit.

Loved the embroidery and trim on this jacket

This dress was all hand was stunning!

Then you moved into a display organized by color and full of miniatures, shoes, hats, jewelry that was fabulous in the way it was displayed.

Finally we moved into the room where the toiles are displayed. This is the room I've always wanted to see after seeing the pictures of the exhibit online. Because I marveled at the height and number of toiles displayed...

So imagine my shock and surprise when I realized that this effect was achieved by mirrors!

I stood there for five minutes with my jaw hanging open. The use of the mirrors and the optical illusion was everything! I had set my camera to record and someone had to walk up behind me and tell me I wasn't recording. It was because of the effect of the room.

The next room we moved into is the piece de resistance of the exhibit. It was so overwhelming and amazing that I walked around the room twice before I could focus on the garments. The staging in this room is perfection. I've never seen an exhibit like this and if you think I'm spoiling it by sharing all of this, I'm not.  My words can NOT do this room justice.

So some pictures...

I loved this exhibit and stayed here for a minute!

Side/back views of the dresses to show the artistry

I spent the most time in this room and this is where I cried. Even typing this reminds me of the way the exhibit made me feel and I needed to exhale.

The final room shows dresses the stars have worn...and there are decades of them. I'm not sharing them all, just a few of my faves. It was the perfect decompression after the excitement of the previous two rooms.

Grace Kelly & Josephine Baker wore these dresses from left to right

The back of the dress Nicole Kidman wore to the Oscars

Princess Diana wore the blue slip dress

I know I shared a lot and believe me it's not half of the collection. I wasn't a fan of the House of Dior when John Galliano was the head designer so his entire section is missing. Quite a few garments from when Dior himself designed it because I had seen a lot of them.  All of this is to say go and see the exhibit for yourself. IT IS SO WORTH IT. I'm actually determined to see it again before it leaves, it was that good!

Some of these pictures were posted to my Instagram account and quite a few sewists talked about seeing it in London, Paris and Dallas, TX. And how it looks like they're sharing different garments, so if you get a chance, please go and see the exhibit.  It's so worth it! always more later!


  1. What marvelous photos of the exhibit, Carolyn! I live out west and doubt if I'll have the opportunity to visit such an exhibit, so seeing it through your eyes is a gift. Thank you.

  2. Oh, my goodness. I have seen some of the photos before, but you really bring home the amazingness, the STUNNING jaw dropping marvelousness of this exhibit. I know I won't get to see it unless it comes to the west coast, but I feel like I've been to it now through your words.
    Oh my. Oh thank you.

  3. Oh my word, thank you so much for sharing your photos! What an absolutely fabulous exhibition! Just stunning :-)

  4. What a fantastic and wonderful post, and thank you so much for putting it together for us. I would have cried too! Those toiles: just amazing, and the curating of the collection is stunning. I remember Nicole's dress, and also Diana's. Part of history. It is 19 years since I last went to New York - I have always wanted to go back and now, more than ever. Loved the photos you took on your way to Brooklyn too.

  5. Thank you for this visual (and verbal) feast!

  6. Thanks for sharing. I went to the Christian Dior exhibit when it was at the ROM in Toronto. The dresses were amazing.

  7. Wow! Just Wow! I am completely awestruck. Loved your pics and thank you soso much. The dresses! And accessories. The craftsmanship! The Designs! The Details in the garments!!! Inspiring and adoring the Wow! I love museum trips as well although never seen this exhibit and haven't been to one in 5 yrs. Thank you! When I worked in Corporate America I wore several suit skirts very similar (not Dior, but obviously inspired) to the one next to the cranberry colored dress you mentioned.

  8. As many times as I've seen photos of the portraits, it just struck me today why Michelle's leaves me thinking "meh." *In this painting* the dress is wearing her, it's what I see first and most. I'm NOT dissing her choice of dress, or the artist. I admit at first I thought "?!?!", but now I love the non-traditional way the Obamas' portraits were done. I hope if I ever see the portraits in person, I'll be pleasantly surprised that photos don't do them justice.

    Thanks for sharing the Dior exhibit with those of us who will never get to see it any other way. It's a lovely setup, very cool use of mirrors. I'd be wishing for binoculars to see the dresses that were displayed higher up. The toiles are the best - no color or beading to distract from the lines and shapes. I'm guessing the drawings of leaves and such on them were to indicate where beading or other detail would be placed? And kudos to those with the talent and skills to bring those designs to life.

  9. Thanks so much for taking us along with you! This was a feast for the eyes! Sounds like you had a fantastic time.

  10. Thank you for sharing - it looks AMAZING! I don't know if I will be able to see it (living on the other coast), but I'm going to recommend it to people who I know will be in NY before the show ends.

  11. A real treat to see these images and be part of your visit to the exhibitions! I doubt this will come to cape town (!) so your photos and your reflections are as close as I'll get to being there. I so appreciate the time you took to post all this x x

  12. Thank you so much. I live a long way from Brooklyn and would never be able to see this exhibit.

  13. What amazing clothing... to be able to interpret what the designer wanted is such a talent... I can just imagine that it took so very long to do the embroidery... if it were me I think I would be dreaming of it while sleeping too. Or make that while trying to sleep.
    You did a great job with your picture taking... so sweet of that person to mention that you were not recording. Hope you get to see it again soon. We are living vicariously... thank you for sharing.

  14. Wow! Thank-you for sharing this amazing exhibition!

  15. Barack’s portrait looks like a photograph! Thank you for sharing your experience and photos of both exhibits - probably the next best thing to being there in person. I agree with one of the other comments - it would be great if the exhibit would someday travel to the west coast ( preferably LA!). Thanks again Carolyn for sharing.

  16. Hi Carolyn, thank you so much for this. I m hoping this wonderful exhibition makes it Australia some day.

  17. Thanks for sharing your photos Carolyn - they're superb. I saw the exhibition in London and the ballroom was completely unexpected - the previous room was small with just accessories and we assumed that was the end of the exhibition. When we walked into the ballroom we were stunned, as you were, and had to sit down for a while. It was overwhelming and beautiful. Would love to see it all again so your photos are a welcome reminder!

  18. Magnificent exhibition and wonderful photographs. Many thanks for sharing Carolyn.

  19. Amazing exhibit! I haven't been to NY in years (even though I live in Boston), but think I'll have to do a field trip before February to see this! Thanks for sharing!!

  20. That first picture you posted of the toiles! That gown makes me want to get married again just so I can create & wear a version of that gorgeous, incredible dress. Thank you for sharing this beautiful exhibit with those of us who don't live close enough.


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