‘Swagged and Poufed’ At RISD

Shades of Scarlett O’Hara— I saw it in the window and just had to have it. A new exhibition ‘Swagged and Poufed: The Upholstered Body in the Late 19th Century and Today’ opens Friday at the RISD Museum.

In 1890, designer William Morris quipped that women were “upholstered like arm chairs.” Buried under folds, ruching, tassels, and fringe, they were on the verge of becoming fixtures in their own drawing rooms. The confections on view in ‘Swagged and Poufed’ illustrate the luxury of material and eccentricities of form typical of the late 19th century and reveal their continued influence in contemporary designs by Kenzo Takada, Gianfranco Ferré for Dior, and Maison Martin Margiela.

(Seen here: Maison Christian Dior 1994/1995.)

January 22 – July 3, RISD Museum, 224 Benefit Street/20 North Main Street, (directions)

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