New York Sketchbook, 2007, Part One

Poiret Show at the Met

Bouclier Day Dress, 1925 (larger)

Dress Costume, 1911 (larger)

One of the highlights of my trip was the exhibition of Art Deco designer Paul Poiret’s fashions and illustrations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It continues through August 5th and if you have the opportunity to go I highly recommend it.

The show is artfully staged which to my mind is half of its appeal. Stylized manikins in evocative poses convey the playful yet chic appeal of the clothing and stunning hand painted backdrops provide the context for the designs.

Manteau d’Auto Coat, 1912 (larger)

The rooms themselves are dark (to protect the fabrics?) which makes sketching somewhat challenging but does allow for dramatic lighting. No ink is allowed so I penciled these illustrations into my little Moleskine notebook and added my ink and color later in the evening. I decided I really liked my color notes, so went ahead and inked them in too! [cont. below]

Le Butard & La Rosière Day Dresses (larger)

Homage à Rousseau, 1910 (larger)

Téâtre Champs Elysées, 1913 (larger)

Opera Hat (larger)

Mademoiselle Day Dress, 1923 (larger)

Sorbet Evening Ensemble, 1913 (larger)

You don’t have to be into fashion to appreciate this show. It is about clothing, yes, but also about the graphics, shape, line, and color of the Art Deco era in which Poiret flourished.

Next up: New York Sketchbook 2007, Part Two, Out and About in New York.

All posts from this Trip:
     Planes and Trains
     Washington DC Sketchbook, Part One
     Washington DC Sketchbook 2007, Part Two
     New York Sketchbook 2007, Part One
     New York Sketchbook, Part Two

14 Responses to “New York Sketchbook, 2007, Part One”

  1. martha Says:

    I found your sketches inspiring so I took myself to the Poiret Exhibit. It was awesome. I even bought the book. I am a fan of your sketches. I do not find enough time to do enough of my own!

  2. lindsay Says:

    You have done a lovely job of capturing this show. I saw it too and could not believe how contemporary the designs were even for today. You have an amazing talent and I love your sketches.

  3. martha Says:

    Thank you everyone for your very encouraging comments!

    Jana: In truth I normally never bother to make color notes on site. I have a basic set of paints and mixes that I use over and over. I need to branch out, actually! For these sketches though, the color was such an important element of the design that I did note them as best I could.

  4. Cin Says:

    hi Martha, thanks for your comment, I can surmise indeed from these that you like store windows as much as me, such wonderful displays that you’ve sketched here, as many times as I’ve been to the Met I’ve never had the time to sketch there, how I would have enjoyed this!

  5. Jana Bouc Says:

    These are some of the most stunning and beautiful images on your blog. There’s nothing like the Met for inspiration! The drawings remind me of a wonderful book on costumes that my sister and I shared. Hundreds of pages of incredible color illustrations of the native costumes of different cultures and different periods. I wonder if she still has that book…it was such a treasure (as is your wonderful sketches). I was curious how you remembered the colors to paint when you do the painting in the evening…do you always make color notes in pencil and usually erase them when you’re going to paint later?

  6. Claudia Says:

    Great sketches! One better than the other! I would like to go there, too!

  7. Katherine Says:

    These are really terrific sketches – and I love the colour notes too. I’m going to be linking back to this post in my weekly round-up post next Sunday.

  8. Shirley Says:

    I’m so impressed. The exhibit is so darkly lit that it is difficult to see pencil marks on the sketchbook page – yet you managed to make gorgeous paintings of the wonderful tableaus. I love them all, but especially the sketch of the two women in the white and red trim day dresses.

  9. Anita Davies Says:

    You have such a feminine feel about your sketches and this subject matter suits your style perfectly!

  10. Susan Cornelis Says:

    Oo la la! And to have models who stay still for you to sketch them. Do you sit or stand to sketch?

  11. andrea Says:

    Your sketching style really suits the subject matter — so delicate and sort of ethereal. Your sketchbooks must be like little treasures.

  12. suzanne buchanan Says:

    Wow, what a great collection of dresses AND sketches. I really like the color notations as well, it reveals your process nicely.

  13. Heather Says:

    Oooh. I particularly like the Manteau d’Auto Coat. Very elegant.

  14. Ronell Says:

    All beautiful sketches Martha, I love every one of them. you’ve captured the styles beautifully and the colors are added with a nice sensitive touch!

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