Thursday, May 14, 2015

Button, Button

Is there anyone reading this
who doesn't have 
at least a small box of buttons
tucked away somewhere?
I know that I 
have more than a few boxes
in my creativity supply stash!

Currently in Paris, Musée des Arts décoratifs
is showcasing thousands of buttons
in a beautiful exhibition
or 'unbuttoned fashion'.

The Musée des Arts décoratifs
always does a beautiful job
staging exhibitions and this
is no exception.
Showcasing garments, accessories, 
drawings and focused collections
raises the humble button
to museum status.

I especially love the drawings for new designs.

It will be interesting to watch
and see how this exhibit informs
future fashion trends.
(I fear that in order to keep costs down
any buttons used in cheaper lines
will not meet my standards...)

Men's waistcoat  with fancy buttons.
Many times buttons were not even
functional but used as decoration
mostly in men's garments --
the peacock effect.

“As soon as buttons appeared in Western dress, 
they ignored their primary role as functional objects in favor of 
a new decorative role as objects of luxury. 
Henceforth, silversmiths and jewelers designed sets of precious buttons, 
using the same materials and techniques as for jewellery-making.”

Note the buttonhook in the upper left corner.
It would take forever to put these on!
Double buttons on a dress back.

“By the 1880’s the bodice had returned with vengeance 
to hold women’s bodies firmly in place. 
The tight rows of dome-shaped buttons down the front 
underlined the rigidity of the chest and enabled close-fitting bodices to shut firmly. 
While this allowed women to dress themselves, 
the buttons were sometimes positioned down the back, especially for wedding gowns. 
This arrangement, which implied the presence of a third party or a chambermaid, 
was strictly reserved for women and gave clothing a special character. 
Buttons were pointers of social status 
and demonstrated deliberate submission to the games of seduction.”

Designs of Henri Hamm.
A few of the 792 Henri Hamm buttons.

I especially loved the collection by
sculptor Henri Hamm.

Henri Hamm button display.

Against a grey backdrop and mirrors
792 of Hamm's buttons
repeat into infinity.

Black and white and graphic.

Notice the angled bound buttonhole on this bias cut coat.
Jacques Fath coat. 

Simple and elegant
this coat by Jacques Fath
is my favorite. 
Classic and graceful
the buttons provide a perfect balance
to the refined lines of the design.

Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel.

Not all of the buttonholes work
but the design does.

Karl always knows when more is more.