Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Gerlans on the Side

More Fun at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

When we last left you, we were ooohing and aaahing over Patrick Kelly at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Although that was our main objective, we took time out to enjoy some of the Museum's non-fashion-centric locations. (Oh, by the way, we know our opening photo is fuzzy, but it's all we have.  And we didn't take it.)  At the staircase in the main building, Valerie does her own version of Diana the Huntress.  We both agreed it was better for everyone NOT to give her a bow and arrow.

Jean got into the act by imitating the model in the photograph wearing Gerlan Marcel's cigarette butt dress.  Gerlan had a whole room dedicated to her designs off to the side, and that's where we went next.

The exhibition opens with this knit wool dress, which sets the mood for the rest of the show.  Gerlan extends the cigarette butt joke from the bodice to the sleeves - the filters are at the shoulders, the arms are the cigarettes and the red wrists are the lighted ends.  Don't forget to look at the vibrant red socks in the strappy spiky sandals with the GERLAN name spiraling around them.  This dress, called the Paloma (after Picasso), comes from the "Eccentric Lady" collection.  Gerlan names Picasso, Diana Vreeland, Patricia Field and Anna Piaggi (all smokers) as muses.

The designer's "Monster Couture" pom-pom jacket and "Monster Chic" Pom-Pom dress from the Fall/Winter 2010 collection was very evocative of Patrick Kelly's work in the fabric (cotton and lycra knit and wool and acrylic pom-poms), color combinations, cartoonish silhouette and coordinated shoes.

The headdress from Marcel's No Monster Left Behind Collection.

This "Palm Down" resort gown in "Breaking Bricks" print from the Spring/Summer 2010 collection featured "Worry Doll" necklace and earrings of nylon and pleated brass.

Jean loved the "Queen Patra" head wrap in the same "breaking brick" pattern.

This cotton duster jacket has a great print.  Think they're flowers?  Oh, no.  Check out the close up below.  But first have a look at the clear jelly boots with the white laces and the slight tint at the sole.  And at the sunglasses with the GERLAN name across the brow.

Gerlan called this dynamic, edgy print "soul rebel".  We should mention that Gerlan is yet another graduate of Central Saint Martins University of the Arts, just some of whose alumni include Hussein Chalayan, John Galliano, Mary Katrantzou (best known for her prints), Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Zac Posen, Gareth Pugh and Riccardo Tisci.  CSM is clearly doing something right.

What is it about our culture that just adores green slime?  We remember when it was a kid's toy you could buy in a container way back in the '70s.  (It was just called Slime then, but boy, was it green.)  Gerlan was inspired to make this "Slimelight bustier dress" by the 1990s Nickelodeon show You Can't Do That on Television, and we're betting Nickelodeon was inspired the original '70s product (which was probably inspired by The Creature from the Black Lagoon).  Gerlan upholds the "matchy matchy" principle.  Note the sunglasses and shoes.  We wish we could have seen the back of the dress.  Is there a zipper?  Buttons?  Or does one simply slither into it?

It really is what you think it is.  Here's a close-up.

Both the Patrick Kelly exhibition and the Gerlan Marcel exhibition can be seen at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Perelman Building through November 30, 2014.

1 comment:

  1. The "Queen Patra" head wrap photo has been saved in my headwear inspiration file!