Homage to Vivienne Westwood – 2022

Posted by on Dec 29, 2022 in Helen's Blog | 0 comments

Homage to Vivienne Westwood - 2022

Photos Helen Oppenheim. Collage helenoppenheim.com

My Homage to Vivienne Westwood who passed away today, at age 81.  Not the best photo, I caught her as she was arriving for the Anglo Mania Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2006. Here’s some provocative work by British fashion designer who brought us punk at the exhibition, perhaps my favorite Costume Exhibition at the Met Museum of all time.
Top to right of the designer extraordinaire is the Vivienne Westwood Room … then the Johnny Rotten designed jacket, made by Vivienne Westwood with a Union Jack mohawk by Julien d’Ys.  Bottom, late ’90s dress worn with a high red wig next to the painting “Portrait of a Noblewoman” late 18th century, similar to Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth 1 … Westwood’s “Queen” mini-crini.  For more amazement from the exhibition, CLICK HERE


1843 Social Justice Quilt @ The Met – 2022

Posted by on May 5, 2022 in Helen's Blog | 0 comments

1843 Social Justice Quilt @ The Met – 2022

Photos: Helen Oppenheim. Collage: helenoppenheim.com

This pro-abolition quilt designed in 1843 by American fashion designer, Maria Hollander can be seen in the Haverhill Room at “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition. The designer leveraged her business success to engage with issues of fundamental importance in her day, including abolition, women’s rights. and, later, she went on to advocate women’s suffrage.   The words say “WE GOOD THX!”  According to film maker Radha Blank, ”Black women were often uncredited as cultural weavers of the fabric of this country.”  This Costume Institute exhibition opens to the public in the  American Wing at the Met Museum, on Saturday, May 7, until September 5., 2022. To see 36 photos of the Exhibition, CLICK HERE



Manus x Machina: Met Museum – 2016

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Helen's Blog | 0 comments

 Manus x Machina: Met Museum - 2016

Photos: © Helen Oppenheim. Collage by helenoppenheim.com

The Costume Institute’s Spring 2016 Exhibition Focuses on the Hand and the Machine in fashion. Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology. On view from May 5 through August 14, the exhibition explores how designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear.” Recently the distinction has become increasingly blurred as both disciplines have embraced the hand/machine dichotomy,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute.

Featured, over 170 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear, dating from the early 1900s to the present. The First Floor is for embroidery, featherwork, artificial flowers. The Ground Floor examines pleating, lacework, leatherwork. Toile, tailoring, dressmaking are on the ground floor gallery. On both floors, traditional hand techniques are shown alongside innovative technologies such as 3-D printing, computer modeling, bonding and laminating, laser cutting, ultrasonic welding. Big name designers are represented, and some new names. Here are just a few of the photos soon to appear big on my website, with more details of the stunning fashions. Top Row, Left to Right: Lace looks by Dutch born Iris van Herpen, a name to watch, dresses from her Spring 2015 and 2016 collections, machine sewn, laser cut leather and van Herpen’s dark orange epoxy by Materialise, hand-sanded, hand-sprayed, Autumn 2012 … Mary McFadden’s machine-sewn and “Marii” machine-pleated green polyester charmeuse, hand-applied gold metallic passementerie dress, 1986 … Issey Miyake,”Pleats Please” machine-sewn polyester weave, machine-garment pleated in paper, 1993, (re-created in 2016) … Bottom Row: 1920 Evening Dress, Callot Soeurs, hand and machine-sewn black silk chiffon with antique ivory lace inserts, gold passemenetrie … Paul Poiret’s 1919 haute couture coat, machine-sewn black wool rep with white fur collar, hand-appliquéd with white kidskin cutwork … Alexander McQueen ensembles, 2012-13, laser-cut white pony skin, black leather, machine sewn and hand finished with Mongolian wool … Thierry Mugler 1990-91 “Neon Dans La Nuit” suit, black silk velvet, machine sewn, hand-embroidered with fluorescent stripes … Andrew Bolton, my very favorite curator, even if he is wearing Thom Browne above the ankle pants with no socks and didn’t have any hair or faces on the mannequins.  To see the album with 39 photos, just up on the website, click HERE


Met Museum Extends China Exhibition – 2015

Posted by on Aug 30, 2015 in Helen's Blog | 0 comments

Met Museum Extends China Exhibition - 2015

Photos: © Helen Oppenheim

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has extended hours for the final weekend of its much-visited and very popular China: Through the Looking Glass Exhibition.  The exhibition, which opened May 7, has so far drawn more than 730,000 visitors, surpassing the record-breaking Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty 2011 exhibition, and is now The Costume institute’s highest attended exhibition ever. Curated by Andrew Bolton, this must-see exhibition will be open to midnight on Friday, September 4 and Saturday, September 5 (Appetizers and full bar service will be at the Museum’s Great Hall Balcony Bar until midnight) and it closes on Labor Day, Monday, September 7. Expect crowds. But it will be worth it …

Photos: © Helen Oppenheim shown above – blue and white porcelain inspirations. Left, smashed up plate dress by Alexander McQueen, right dress by Gue Pei.   More to drool over or, if you miss the exhibition, click HERE


Chinese Fashion Alert – 2015

Posted by on May 9, 2015 in Helen's Blog | 0 comments

Chinese Fashion Alert – 2015

Photos: Top/Bottom Left: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography: © Platon. Right: © Helen Oppenheim

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “China Through The Looking Glass” exhibition now at their Costume Institute and the Anna Wintour Costume Center is so gorgeous, in every way, from fashions to the Stephen Jones head treatments to the presentation by the curator, Andrew Bolton, that Chinese fashions will soon be the rage. The must-see exhibition, worth a trip to New York City all by itself, is on until August 16, 2015.

Shown here, Top Left, evening dress by Valentino SpA, from the 2013 “Shanghai” collection.  Bottom Left, John Galliano’s couture dress for the House of Dior, Autumn/Winter 1997/98.  Right: Ralph Lauren’s jacket of red silk shantung and black silk satin embroidered with polychrome silk and gold metallic thread, Autumn/Winter 2011/12. Head treatment by Stephen Jones. For more Chinese inspiration from the very beginning of the exhibition, click HERE

Photos: Top and Bottom Left: © Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography: © Platon.   Right: © Helen Oppenheim


Memories. Diana Vreeland Letter – 1983

Posted by on Oct 18, 2014 in Helen's Blog | 0 comments

Memories. Diana Vreeland Letter – 1983

Letter from Diana Vreeland

Memories. A letter to treasure. Forever. From Diana Vreeland, famous for her years at Harper’s Bazaar, as Editor in Chief at Vogue, the 12 extraordinary exhibitions she consulted on for Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute, her wit, her often outrageous quotes and much more.

Diana Vreeland, also a classy lady, sent me this letter in 1983 after I had devoted my whole column, about 8 pages, in Peluquerias Magazine to her 1982 exhibition, La Belle Epoque.  I had researched visuals of the art period from 1890 to 1914 extensively, and asked various hairdressers to send me photos and sketches of updated versions of the hair looks for the era. Peluquerias did us all proud with a great layout design. But I never expected a letter like this from The Great One. What an honor.


Zandra Rhodes with Hamish Bowles – 2013

Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Helen's Blog | 0 comments

Zandra Rhodes with Hamish Bowles

Photo: Helen Oppenheim

British designer Zandra Rhodes with her signature hot pink hair, now in a classic bob, with Hamish Bowles of Vogue, photographed during the Punk: Chaos to Couture Press Preview at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Zandra has some of her famous dresses included in the great exhibition.  Check Museums on www.helenoppenheim.com for photos of the must-see exhibition May 9 to August 14, 2013.

Photo: Helen Oppenheim


Think Punk – For 2013

Posted by on Sep 15, 2012 in Helen's Blog | 0 comments

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute exhibition due May 9  to August 11, 2013 is going to make punk hot again.  Not that it ever really went away.   With buzzed ‘dos already happening, I dread to think how some punk hair cuts will ruin many a lovely face!

Fashion is another story.  Punk. Chaos to Couture will examine punk’s impact from its birth In the 1970s through its continuing influence on high fashion today.

There will be approximately 100 designs for men and women, by all the usual suspects.  Original punk garments from the mid-1970s will be juxtaposed with recent, directional fashion showing how pailettes were replaced by safety pins, feathers by razor blades, bugle beads by studs.  Presented as an immersive multimedia, multisensory experience, the clothes will be animated with period music videos and soundscaping audio techniques.

Organized thematically, gallery sections will include Rebel Heroes, Pavillions of Anarchy and Elegance, Punk Couture, D.I.Y.  Style, La Mode Destroy, all organized by my favorite Curator, Andrew Bolton.  No news yet on who will create the hair.    Meanwhile, here’s some punk from the Met Museum’s 2006 Anglo Mania Exhibition with hair concoctions by the great Julien d’Ys to get your inspirational juices going..

Punk at the Metropolitan Museum

Photo: © Helen Oppenheim

For more on the amazing Anglo Mania Exhibition, go the Museums on helenoppenheim.com –
and watch out punk influences everywhere…