The elusive Mr. Hamish Bowles, editor of European Vogue and long time protege of the iconic Anna Wintour has become one of the worlds most legendary collectors of couture fashion and a particularly smart historian for the fashion community. Known up front as a fashionisto himself (landing on Vanity Fair’s best dressed list year after year), Hamish has carved out a true place for himself in fashion history with his terrifically popular exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of art (Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years) and now in our own back yard at the de Young Museum this month.
(Hamish and Anna)
Now in it’s second week, “Balenciaga and Spain” has already put to rest concerns that San Francisco would not appreciate such high brow fashion fodder the way New York, London and other fashion capitols have. Bowles takes the opportunity to explore and celebrate the influence of Spain in the designs of the world’s most revered couturier Balenciaga. Broken into 6 sections ranging from Spanish Art to the Bullfight, Bowles challenges the notion that Fashion is a superficial art devoid of meaning and purpose. According to Hamish, “Fashion holds a mirror up to it’s times. It’s a poignant expression of what’s going on in the world.” When you think about it, the man has a point. Look at the fashion of today. This notion of American Heritage has virtually taken over the land of laundry. What does that say about where we are today? Do we long for simpler times? Do we value quality of craftsmanship, integrity of brands and value? Sure we do. In a time when the world seems to be spinning out of control with politicians and fault lines spewing nothing but hot air, the economy and state budgets seeming impossible to tame and all of us clinging to anything that seems real and honest – classic American Sportswear seems to be the all to obvious SOS letter worn on our backs to alert the fashion Gods.
If I’m not getting to cray cray and heady for you – you may very well be interested in what Mr. Bowles is serving up in San Francisco. If nothing else, you’ll get to see some pretty clothes. Be sure not to dilly dally though as the show continues only through July 4th and tickets are limited. Get in the know HERE.