So I Was THIS CLOSE to Amal, Anna, Beyonce…

… as well as Kirsten, Penelope, and Taylor.

Okay, it was actually just their gowns, but that’s good enough for me.

Museum of Fine Arts Houston is hosting the exhibition,The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta,” and I got to have a quick visit.  The MFAH has a lovely slideshow of some of the clothing at the link above, and you can see even more of the ensembles here.

One thing that I really loved was that, unlike previous fashion exhibitions I have been to, this one was spread out across many galleries.  There was plenty of space to take in each costume on its own.  They were grouped according to de la Renta’s fashion inspirations — Spain, China, Russia, the garden, etc.

Photography was allowed, although no flash as usual.  On the wall were slideshows showing these gowns being worn at various red carpet events, with crowds of photographers focusing in on them, and I was thinking, “I think these gowns have seen plenty of flash!”  So my pictures did not turn out as well as those professional pictures I linked to, but I did get some that showed details of some of the jewelry, and the ornate fabrics.

Mica Ertegun’s ensemble on the left, more ruffles on the right.

Detail showing Mica Ertegun’s necklace. Oscar de la Renta designed all the jewelry seen in the exhibition.

These Chinese-inspired evening ensemble belongs to Ann Getty.

A detail of the embroidered silk taffeta.

This is blurry, but it shows the blue silk twill underlying the embroidery.

On the right, Anna Wintour’s coat, which looks to be made from an antique paisley shawl.

A silk and sable evening ensemble.

A detail of the gorgeous embellishment with embroidery and sequins.

Amal Clooney’s wedding dress.

A detail of the layers and layers of lace used in the dress.

I was most curious about the fabrics.  I just couldn’t imagine that anything so ornate and labor-intensive would have been produced within the last 50 years, so I wondered whether many of them were antique fabrics that had been re-purposed into new garments.  But in the audio tour, curator André Leon Talley said that Oscar de la Renta sometimes designed his own fabrics, and sometimes fabric houses brought designs they thought he would like to him, and he was happy to use available fabrics.

I love seeing fashion get recognition as an art form, and it was a lovely way to start the year!