Pretty dollies
September 11, 2007 9:11 AM   Subscribe

The Theatre de la Mode exhibition featured scaled down haute couture designs from Paris's top designers on miniature mannequins, and was intended to help revive French fashion after WWII. If you're in the area, you can go see the exhibition where it ended up-- the Maryhill Museum, established by a rather unique guy named Sam Hill (who also built a full-scale poured-concrete replica of Stonehenge nearby) in a small town in south-central Washington state.Or you can just look at some flickr pictures (hey, look, it's "Metafilter's own" Harvey Girls!) Or get the viewmaster disk.
posted by dersins (11 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
very cool! (pre-New Look stuff is so different)

someone needs to put every single ViewMaster image online, i think. : >
posted by amberglow at 9:36 AM on September 11, 2007

That's actually the world's second largest stonehenge, you know. When I went to the Maryhill they had a great collection of Rodin hands and feet.
posted by jessamyn at 9:45 AM on September 11, 2007

That's actually the world's second largest stonehenge, you know.

And, I'm guessing, the only one that's a WWI memorial.

They still have the Rodin leftovers. They also have a great collection of Russian art, furniture, and clothing from the Romanovs, complete with repaired pictures slashed by Bolsheviks. I so wanted the viewmaster set, but I couldn't remember if I still had a viewmaster laying around. I guess we'll just have to go back when I have the $5.
posted by sleepy pete at 10:10 AM on September 11, 2007

What a superb post dersins. Really interesting story, across so many countries, World War, fashion houses, collaboration to create unusual miniatures, Druid replica, impractical and extravagant American magnate, Romanian royalty with her huge entourage.

Sam hill's Peace Arch.

"Fifty three design houses, including such well known names as Schiaparelli, Fath, Hermes, Ricci, Balenciaga, Worth, Lelong, Carven and Madame Gres, were given the task of creating up to five outfits each. The only difference between these clothes and those made for real people, was in their size; they had proper linings, closures, buttons and trimmings. Many were hand beaded, and designers often provided miniature foundation garments to go underneath. The couturiers were not the only artists who were involved. The mannequins' wigs were all professionally made and styled, and each one wore a pair of beautifully scaled down shoes. Jewellery, little gloves, hats, purses, belts, and even little powder compacts had to be made." wow.
posted by nickyskye at 12:43 PM on September 11, 2007

This place is in my (relative) backyard, and yet I've not gone to visit.

*smacks self up-side the head*
posted by Parannoyed at 12:56 PM on September 11, 2007

It's a great time of year for that drive through the gorge on 14, Parannoyed. You should go!
posted by dersins at 1:03 PM on September 11, 2007

The house that Sam Hill built in Seattle is three blocks north from my apartment complex on Broadway.
posted by y2karl at 1:24 PM on September 11, 2007

What a rip off, I don’t see scoops of ice cream on top of any of these.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:52 PM on September 11, 2007

Hey, cool! After seeing the Theatre de la Mode and being blown away I thought about doing a post like this, but I was lazy. My lousy photography can't begin to convey how beautifully made and impressive the mannequins and their outfits are. Thanks for putting this together, dersins.

Parannoyed, seriously: go! There's no other museum in the entire world with this kind of collection -- it's so worth it, and the days won't be this beautiful much longer. (As an added bonus, you'll get to hang out with some beautiful and incredibly friendly peacocks.)
posted by melissa may at 4:48 PM on September 11, 2007

melissa may, you and sleepy pete are an adorable couple. Love the peacock pics. Cool.
posted by nickyskye at 5:15 PM on September 11, 2007

Aw, nickyskye, what a lovely thing to say. I'm remembering that picture you posted of yourself in Coney Island. Truman Capote once wrote an anecdote about Greta Garbo encountering Babe Paley in an elevator and saying, "Why, Mrs. Paley, you're beautiful."

Babe, amused and touched, replied with the same words I'm thinking now: "Gee, look who's talking."

(dersins, please forgive this unscheduled kissing derail of your thread. Back to couture!)
posted by melissa may at 5:44 PM on September 11, 2007

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