Menswear at the Fashion Fair

May 17th, 2013by Alex AubryFiled under: Collections, Exhibitions

Although women’s wear was the predominant feature of the Ebony Fashion Fair, Mrs. Eunice Johnson also introduced the latest designs in menswear, including a 1972 sequined evening suit by Guy Laroche. Prior to exhibition, the garment required careful assessment and conservation.

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Behind-the-scenes photographs by CHM staff

Costume conservator Julie Benner worked out a treatment plan to secure or replace the suit’s loose or missing iridescent sequins. Over time, many of the sequins had come loose in certain areas of the garment. Here, she meticulously reinforces each with unobtrusive thread.

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Intern Yanet Ramirez followed Julie’s instructions to secure sequins that had come loose on the jacket’s matching plaid pants.

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Intern Anna Kosters practiced sewing sequins to the muslin cover of the work table before she began work on the garment.

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The costume conservator’s tools include special magnifiers, tweezers, and scissors, which they use to make precise, delicate incisions into garments. Because of the fragile state of many of the textiles with which they work, conservators have borrowed tools from the medical field, such as special threads and needles typically used by surgeons.

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Guy Laroche (France)
Evening suit
Haute couture, fall/winter 1972–73
Silk/synthetic blend taffeta, plastic sequins
Appeared in Ebony Fashion Fair The Mood of Luxury

> Explore vintage dressmaking patterns by Guy Laroche

> Learn about textile conservation at London’s V&A Museum

> Visit the official Inspiring Beauty website

> Read more about Johnson Publishing Company

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