Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Lookonline Editor-in-Chief Marilyn Kirschner's Conversation with Harold Koda

I attended the press preview of the 'Adrian: American Glamour' exhibit, and had a chance to chat with Harold Koda, the curator of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I asked this expert what he felt was the most interesting or surprising aspect of the Adrian exhibit. He said that since most people know Adrian as someone who created rather theatrical designs for Hollywood, it was the fact that this exhibit - guest curated by Jane Trapnell Marino (the wife of Peter Marino) was a testimony to his "showstopping looks for real people" the fact that he could indeed create "real glamour for real people", which was evidenced by his impeccably tailored skirtsuits. Koda also noted his ability to create "glamour without nudity" as illustrated by his fabulous, distinctive, elegant, yet covered up gowns. When I asked Mr. Koda if he had one or two "favorites"he did not hesitate to list them: a black suit trimmed with coral wool, and his 'Roam Stallion' red and black gown which features the design of a horse painted on ( click here for picture) Mr. Koda also explained that Adrian, who was known for his spare, graphic designs, was most influenced by his artistic background, and he viewed the body "as a three dimensional canvas whose main function was for pictorial representation." Not only were many of the clothes on exhibit timeless in their deceivingly simplistic elegance, many of the suits, and one coat in particular, could easily grace any of the 'best dressed' list today. Now, that's what I call enduring style.

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