Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Reigning Men exhibit at the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art with my husband and The Dreamstress. WOW! What an incredible display of menswear! If you haven’t yet been able to see this exhibit, it’s on until August 21st.
Menswear is so often overlooked in the history of fashion. It was pretty incredible to see several large rooms of clothing on display. The garments spanned from the 18th century until present day. Of course, I was the most taken with the earlier menswear garments, as they are so seldom on display on the West Coast of the United States, so most of my pictures are of those garments.
I have uploaded over 200 photos to my Flickr Album so you can see all the photos I took (I didn’t take photos of every garment), but I’ll highlight a few favorite images in this blog post that show the amazing details that I was most excited about. Unfortunately, I neglected to take photographs of most of the name plates, and many of the garments aren’t yet on LACMA’s online database, but hopefully you will enjoy the images regardless!
This cotton banyan (at home robe), circa 1750, was absolutely gorgeous. I have a soft spot for 18th century cottons, and this one was incredible.
The amazing striped fabric and incredible buttons on this 18th century coat were most exciting. I love how this period often unashamedly used different colors in the same ensemble.
These “corset” drawers, circa 1830, were most exciting. I really want to try to recreate these.
This French coat, circa 1800, was my favorite piece on display. The textile, the embroidery, the colors, the cut… it was all just perfection in my book. You can see The Dreamstress taking a photo of it in this image.
The embroidery and dimension! The swirl of lace that intertwines the floral embroidery is particularly exciting. And the pocket edging that’s mirrored on the garment!
This textile was just incredible, and not something I usually think of for 18th century menswear. This is on the LACMA database, and it describes it as “Silk cut velvet on plain weave with tie-resist-dyed pile warp (chiné) and self-weft patterning”. Circa 1770.
The cuff treatment and button placket on this striped silk coat, which I neglected to get a date of (but I believe is 1790’s-early 1800s), was incredible to me.
This was my husband’s favorite piece of the exhibit. All that metal embroidery was just INCREDIBLE. If you look closely, you can see that included in the embroidery are acorns. This is an Italian court suit and vest, circa 1800.
And here we are! Braving the heat, sunburn, and long lines to see old clothes!
If you want to see more pictures of the exhibit, you can see all the pictures I took here in my Flickr Album. If you repost/share any images, a link back would be highly appreciated.
Historical costumers might be excited to know that LACMA has released some sewing patterns of a few of the garments that are on display in this exhibit.
Reigning Men is a specially ticketed exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that is on display until August 21st. If you get a chance to go, I highly suggest it. I also suggest you purchase tickets online in advance if you plan to go on a weekend, as the lines were quite long when we were there because a popular exhibit has just opened.