Beauty and the Bead

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C.1960 bead embellished evening slipper
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Ice blue cocktail dress with bead embellished collar and sleeves. Marshall Field and Co.

Call me crazy but I’ve decided to mount a 2nd fashion feature presentation for the 2015/2016 season: Beauty and the  Bead will begin touring September 10th.

The Mobile Millinery Museum’s bead-embellished hats, gowns, shoes, jackets and handbags are just too pretty to languish in archival storage, so we are trotting out a variety of 19th and 20th century pieces including a rare 1930s Jeanne Lanvin beaded couture gown and a beaded silk bolero attributed to Balenciaga.

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1939 black silk couture gown, Jeanne Lanvin.

20150822_175637My favourite piece, however, is a silk brocade opera gown embellished with three large exquisitely-detailed birds. These adorn the bodice, the left shoulder, and the hem. Woven into the custom fabric are the words L’Oiseau Blue. The dress was made for a performance of an opera by the same name (The Blue Bird).

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1960s custom couture mini dress with beaded cuffs and waistband.
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Fully beaded rope and tassel motif disco jacket.
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