exhibition

Theme 15: Downton Abbey. The Exhibition in New York.

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition Review. New York, 2018

When I first heard that Downton Abbey: The Exhibition was coming to New York, I was beyond excited! It has been years since the last season aired. Nothing could quite replace witty, funny quotes of Dowager Countess, the fascinating-to-watch competition between Mary and “poor Edith”, blossoming romances, emotional heartbreaks and seemingly never-ending miseries of upstairs and downstairs habitants of Downton Abbey.

Asking myself the iconic “What is a weekend?”, I decided to take my friend Allison, a fellow fiction writer and another die-hard Downton Abbey fan, to the exhibition on Saturday morning to explore and review it for my Pastiche.today readers. I already had a Downton Abbey theme running on my blog, and I knew that this experience will be a perfect addition to the collection of my articles about the show and looks inspired by the Downton Abbey’s characters. You can click here to see the rest of the posts inspired by the famous PBS show.

Mrs Patmore's kitchen. Downton Abbey exhibition in New York.

From the very beginning, the exhibition immerses you into the Crawleys’ household and really makes you feel that you are stepping into the Highclere Castle, where the PBS show was filmed. It all starts with the warm welcome from Carson and Mrs Hughes, and leads you through an impeccably and very true-to-detail executed kitchen of Mrs. Patmore, where she ruled over a handful of kitchen maids and footmen. Then you continue to explore the detailed sets and costumes of the servants’ quarters.

Servants Quarters in Downton Abbey. PBS show exhibition
Downton Abbey cast's costumes on display in New York.

The second and the third floor explores the lavish and beautiful world of Crawleys. It felt almost scandalous to peek at immaculately recreated Lady Mary’s bedroom, where I couldn’t help to avoid thinking of Kemal Pamuk. Then there is of course a grand dining room. Empty, but all set for an exquisite dinner party that could arrive any second. Every detail is intimately familiar and gives such a surreal feeling of invading Crawleys’ home that I half expected the Dowager Countess Violet to appear in front of me with a suppressed, but visible mark of a humorous disdain on her glorious face:  “Oh, roll up, roll up, visit an actual dining room! Complete with a real life table and chairs!”.

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition.
Lady Mary Bedroom
20s dresses in Downton Abbey. Period drama costumes. Fashion of Downton Abbey.

Slowly walking and taking in all the magnificence of the masterfully designed space by Imagine Exhibtions, Allison and I especially enjoyed all the interactive and smartly placed insights of the historic events and changes that occurred in daily lives of British subjects from Post-Edwardian Era to the World War 1 and the Roaring Twenties. I can confidently and sincerely declare that even those who haven’t yet seen the Downton Abbey would enjoy all the valuable and entertaining information if they have even a remote interest in history!

Wedding hair in Downton abbey
Downton Abbey. Edit's Wedding gown
Downton Abbey fashion.
PBS Downton Abbey fashion styles.
Sybil's harem pants in Downton Abbey.

And how can I forget to mention the costumes and accessories of the Downton Abbey’s ladies and gentlemen! The abundance of wedding laces, strict lines of riding costumes and enchanting glitz of all the glamorous 20s gowns absolutely stole my heart. Even though sometimes I like slipping into pajamas at a Netflix kind of night at home, I desperately long for the times when an afternoon tea in a garden required a pretty hat, and for a 6 pm dinner you had to change into an evening gown and wear long elegant gloves.

20s fashion in Downton Abbey show.
Downton Abbey Exhibition

Lord and Lady Granham, Mary, Edith and Sybil, Tom Branson, Mr, Barrow, Isobel, Daisy and all other beloved and sometimes despised characters of Downton Abbey already felt so real to every fan of the show, but the exhibition immersed us into their world like never before. Allison noted: “The section with the gramophone and the visual explanation of social hierarchy reminded me of the circumstances these characters faced and the changing landscape they had to navigate. The characters already felt real and three-dimensional. All of this information along with the costumes, sets, and  props made them even more alive!”

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition has exceeded my expectations and truly made me feel like I was a dear guest at the Crawley’s, or a curious phantom wondering through the halls and sumptuous rooms of the family that quite honestly feels in a way like my own!


Theme 35: Fall in New York. National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey Review

National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey review. By New York City Blogger Ulia Ali Pillmore.
Ocean Odyssey

Ben and I are loyal National Geographic subscribers, so we were very excited to visit a new attraction at the heart of Times Square - a NatGeo Encounter: Ocean Odyssey. It is a first-of its-kind immersive entertainment experience that lets you to take a plunge into a deep, undersea world and learn about ocean life in a fun and interesting way. I am a certified diver and I can tell that many of the experiences felt like a real dive, minus the getting wet part!

National Geographic has created a real game-changing interactive experience that makes me look forward to the future of educational media. Ocean Odyssey is a fast-changing, smart, multi-sensory journey fit for all ages, and includes innovative technologies that will make you gasp in awe. For example, Ben and I really enjoyed the kelp forest maze, and a 3D experience (no spoilers though!) for fun, but we found that the best part was actually learning about the watery part of our beautiful planet in different rooms filled with screens and interactive tools.

Had a fin-tastic time at NatGeo!

We never stood still as the journey took us through a beautifully and intricately designed 60,000-square-foot space that offered a variety of different entertainment, educational tools and information. 

I think this National Geographic Encounter is perfect for kids and will help them understand our oceans and marine life more, planting some fundamental knowledge into their smart, little heads. This knowledge, I believe, will help them to grow considerate and enlighten of the oceans and will help preserve our oceans in the future. Ocean Odyssey is an inspiring journey that will definitely spark the interest of young ones in marine science, environmental change and oceanography. 

The experience is also great for couples and friends who would love to do something other than drinking at a bar or watching endless stream of TV shows. If you are up for taking a dive into the oceans in the middle of Times Square, BOOK TICKETS here and prepare for some "blue-lit" fun.

Immersive ocean dive at Times Square with National Geographic.
National Geographic immersive experience

Week 13: Grace Kelly. Manus X Machina. Fashion in an Age of Technology.

Manus X Machina exhibition at Met 2016

Do you remember the latest MET Gala? The MET Galas are traditionally held to celebrate and support fabulous new exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum. This year’s celebrated exhibit is Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. The exhibition explores the marriage between technology and fashion, showcasing astonishing creations by the most famous fashion designers which illustrate the perfect symbiosis of complicated handmade pieces with machine work.

The exhibition is open at the Met Fifth Avenue through August 14, and I strongly recommend you see it. From the moment you step in you will feel a grandness and sacredness of the place, the kind that you experience in lavish medieval cathedrals or mosques.  The circular exhibition space beckons us to look into its numerous alcoves with couture creations which are placed on pedestals like sculptures of Saints. The dimly lit museum wing is haunted by beautiful soul-reaching melodies. Only the fashion artifacts are magically lit, attracting your gaze.

Despite the spellbound crowd with their iPhones glued in hand, the experience is almost mystical and pilgrimatic. Find all hope - You Who Enter Here should be written before the entrance, because Manus x Machina will leave you inspired.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is this exquisite Chanel gown created by Karl Lagerfeld.    

The centerpiece of the exhibition is this exquisite Chanel gown created by Karl Lagerfeld. 

 

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  This dress's meters-long train sparkles like a gilded altarpiece.

This dress's meters-long train sparkles like a gilded altarpiece.

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  This dress— made of a synthetic fabric called scuba knit— was hand-molded, machine-sewn, and then hand-finished, with intricate embroidery in pearls and gemstones forming a glittering baroque pattern.

This dress— made of a synthetic fabric called scuba knit— was hand-molded, machine-sewn, and then hand-finished, with intricate embroidery in pearls and gemstones forming a glittering baroque pattern.

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  Why have I decided to include this exhibit in my  Grace Kelly Week ? Because I believe some of these gorgeous pieces could have easily been worn by Grace. 50s silhouettes are definitely my favourite!

Why have I decided to include this exhibit in my Grace Kelly Week? Because I believe some of these gorgeous pieces could have easily been worn by Grace. 50s silhouettes are definitely my favourite!

Manus X Machina. Black dress
IMG_0598.JPG
If the Devil wears Prada, Demons certainly wear Alexander McQueen.

If the Devil wears Prada, Demons certainly wear Alexander McQueen.

Fabulous handmade Chanel gown from Fall/Winter 2005 Haute Couture collection.

Fabulous handmade Chanel gown from Fall/Winter 2005 Haute Couture collection.

I call these the hedgehog-dresses.

I call these the hedgehog-dresses.

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  The famous Yves Saint Laurent dress known as "Sardine" is even more stunning in real life. The photograph cannot reflect how brilliantly the "fish skin effect" was created. It is  mesmerising .

The famous Yves Saint Laurent dress known as "Sardine" is even more stunning in real life. The photograph cannot reflect how brilliantly the "fish skin effect" was created. It is mesmerising.

Flower dress
Flower dress Spring
Manus x Machina.
An absolutely stunning "mermaid" dress.
Medieval style dresses at the Met museum
IMG_6717.JPG

I hope you enjoyed the post! Let me know if you would like to see more exhibition reviews or want me to attend and photograph a certain event/show for you.

Week 10: Timeless Essentials. The Life & Style of Jacqueline de Ribes

Jacqueline de Ribes costume exhibition in New York. 

When I got invited by my friend Julia to see the exhibition dedicated to the personal style of Jacqueline de Ribes at the MET museum, I did not know much about de Ribes. But after marvelling at every single exhibited dress and reading fascinating stories about the beautiful Countess Jacqueline, I was eager to learn more and share with you.

About Jacqueline de Ribes

The Countess Jacqueline de Ribes was born with her title in 1929 and married at the age of 18 to Vicomte Edouard de Ribes, a very rich banker who later became Comte de Ribes. The Countess was everything and more of what you might imagine a French aristocrat to be. She was raised in a lavish chateau with a myriad of servants and the best Parisian dressmakers willing to satisfy her every fashion whim.

By the 50's, the Countess de Ribes earned the title of  "Reigning Queen of Paris" and became the centre of attention at every gala and masquerade ball she attended (and she attended hundreds of them!). Early on, the Countess mastered the art of the grand entrance. She would plan every detail of her appearance thoroughly and was almost always ridiculously late even to the most important events.

LE BAL ORIENTAL

Tiepolo's fresco version for the ballroom in the Palazzo Labia, Venice. 

Tiepolo's fresco version for the ballroom in the Palazzo Labia, Venice. 

In 1951, de Ribes made quite an impression at the Venetian Ball du Siecle at the Palazzo Labia. Just so you can understand the extent of how difficult it was to stand out at that 1951 ball, I will give you a little glimpse into that night.

 

Le Bal Oriental was hosted by Charles de Beistegui. Invitations were sent out 6 months(!) prior to the event to give guests enough time to design their elaborate, over-the-top costumes. The ball's theme  The Banquet of Cleopatra was inspired by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo's famous fresco in the Palazzo Labia that Beistegui, by the way, owned. The guest list included everyone who was anyone. Christian Dior attended the party in a costume designed by Salvador Dalí, and Dalí showed up in a creation by Dior. The majority of guests were dressed in lavish, opulent costumes made from exquisite fabrics and adorned with ridiculously expensive fine jewellery. The ball was the ultimate, exquisite masquerade, that could have rivalled one of Marie Antoinette's own parties.

Daisy Fellowes, with James Caffery as her page, poses in her Christian Dior Queen of Africa costume.

Daisy Fellowes, with James Caffery as her page, poses in her Christian Dior Queen of Africa costume.

Guests rehearsed their arrivals for days in advance of the ball.

Guests rehearsed their arrivals for days in advance of the ball.

In the middle of that visual feast appeared the young Countess De Ribes, un-fashionably late of course, but dressed in a white dress as seen on an 18th century painting by Pietro Longhi, accompanied by two identically attired women to complete her costume. Since then, her entrances were impatiently awaited.

Last Queen of Paris, Jacqueline, comtesse de Ribes, multiplied herself by commissioning matching costumes for two attendants.

Last Queen of Paris, Jacqueline, comtesse de Ribes, multiplied herself by commissioning matching costumes for two attendants.

The Ball Oriental. De Ribes costume

Jacqueline de Ribes would combine the unimaginable: creating looks so memorable people would discuss them for years, re-designed couture pieces and wore extravagant headpieces, doing so with immeasurable grace and confidence. Her father-in-law once described Jacqueline as a cross between a Russian princess and a showgirl from Folies Bergere.

de-ribes-style-icon-tribute
Jacqueline
“She would arrive at a fitting in a cabriolet,” recalls Valentino. “A mixture of great Parisian chic and the allure of a diva.”
Jacqueline de Ribes
The Countess photographed by Avedon

The Countess photographed by Avedon

The Countess was photographed by the most famous photographers of the time, including Richard Avedon who called her his muse. She was a patron of many designers including Dior, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent.

With her love of couture fashion, it was only a matter of time before the Countess launched her own fashion line. On her 53rd birthday she informed everyone that she was starting her pret-a-porter clothing line. Her husband, children and friend, Yves Saint Laurent, supported her and the line was a success. Unfortunately, due to health problems,  Jacqueline had to dissolve her fashion house in 1995.

At the age of 86, Jacqueline still turns heads and looks as elegant as ever. The MET exhibition dedicated to her style was a great success and I am happy to share a few photographs from the exhibition with you all. In the future, I would love to re-create some of the Countess de Ribes' iconic looks, but for now enjoy the fashion feast!

White dresses of the Countess de Ribes
Fashion de Ribes at MET
De Ribes fashion sense, parisian chic
Dress of Jacqueline 
orange-gown-de-ribs-gorgeous
“She was a real femme du monde. She had an art de vivre,” says Pierre Bergé. “I think she may be the last to know how to live like that.”
The Countess Jacqueline now

Week 5: Star Wars. The Power of Costume Exhibition

Star Wars and the power of costume exhibition at the Discovery Times Square Museum

I am so excited that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be available on Blu-Ray tomorrow, and happy to announce that the 5th Themed Week on Pastiche today is dedicated to the Star Wars saga and everything related to it.

Today, I would like to take you to the 'Star Wars and The Power of Costume' exhibition that is currently going at the Discovery Times Square Museum in New York. The exhibition features more than 70 hand-crafted original costumes from all seven Star Wars films, and reveals the creative process behind the creation of characters and their costumes. The exhibition is absolutely amazing, and Ben and I had a great date as we are both huge Star Wars fans. 

Of course, not all of you will be able to visit the Discovery Times Square, therefore I took a lot of photographs (even some shots of few interesting facts I read at the exhibition. Share with all of your Star Wars-fans friends!

Famous and incredibly sexy  Princess Leia  slave costume

Famous and incredibly sexy Princess Leia slave costume

Queen Padme Amidala's gorgeous gown at  Star Wars and T  he P  ower of C  ostume E  xhibition, Discovery Times Square in New York. By Ulia Ali
Star Wars exhibit. Cute
Star Wars and The Power of Costume Exhibition, Discovery Times Square in New York
Star Wars and T  he P  ower of C  ostume E  xhibition, Discovery Times Square in New York. Obi Wan
Star Wars and T  he P  ower of C  ostume E  xhibition photography exclusive for pastiche today blog
Star Wars. The Power of Costume Exhibition. Dark side
Star Wars costumes. Exclusive peek
Star Wars. The Power of Costume Exhibition photographs
droid-droids-star-wars
I guess I am slightly attracted by the Dark Side ;)

I guess I am slightly attracted by the Dark Side ;)

Star wars room
Droid Design Star Wars
Do you remember I posted the video of  Anakin's  and  Padme's  breathtaking wedding ceremony in the ' TOP 10 Film Weddings'  post? Seeing such beautiful intricate costumes from that gorgeous scene was amazing!

Do you remember I posted the video of Anakin's and Padme's breathtaking wedding ceremony in the 'TOP 10 Film Weddings' post? Seeing such beautiful intricate costumes from that gorgeous scene was amazing!

Amidala dress
Padme's gorgeous dresses she wore during pregnancy.

Padme's gorgeous dresses she wore during pregnancy.

Padme Amidala's wardrobe, hStar Wars costumes

Padme Amidala's wardrobe, hStar Wars costumes

Star Wars and The Power of Costume Exhibition
Star Wars The Power of Costume Exhibition exclusives
Star wars guns
The Power of Costume Exhibition. Senators fashion
senators at star wars
Darth Vader
Wookie!

Wookie!

Star Wars costumes
This is SO Steampunk. Gorgeous! You can click on any picture and Open it in New Tab or Window to see it bigger!

This is SO Steampunk. Gorgeous! You can click on any picture and Open it in New Tab or Window to see it bigger!

Yoda best!

Yoda best!

BB8 Droid, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Amidala fashion
The Force Awakens costumes
'Padme's funeral' room at the exhibition.

'Padme's funeral' room at the exhibition.

The tragic death of Padme. The scene and the look was inspired by Pre-Raphaelite's paintings

The tragic death of Padme. The scene and the look was inspired by Pre-Raphaelite's paintings