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All of Everything: Todd Oldham at the RISD Museum of Art

All of Everything: Todd Oldham at the RISD Museum of Art

Some days were made for a bit of hooky. This week, it was Tuesday– though how much can you consider a museum visit hooky when it’s the business you’re in? We took an outing down the street to the RISD Museum, long one of my favorite places in Rhode Island. The Costume and Textiles curatorial staff mount some amazing exhibits, from Artist Rebel Dandy to this latest, All of Everything: Todd Oldham Fashion.

Every time I go to the RISD Museum’s exhibits, I have serious wants, whether mochaware coffee pots or the Chinchilla Outfit– which my grandmother would also have coveted. There was a tinge of nostalgia in the visit, since most of us had lived through the 1990s, and recognized the styles that eventually leached into ready-to-wear from couture. Cropped sweaters. Shrunken jackets. Embellishments. Pattern mixing. Hey– I still dress that way!

Unknown artist Horace Vernet French, 1789-1863 Illustrations from the Journal des Dames et des Modes, ca. 1810 Engraving on wove paper, hand-colored Museum collection INV2004.506

Journal des Dames et des Modes, ca. 1810
RISD Museum INV2004.506

And legit it is, this pattern mixing. Funny how we stick to the same shapes and forms once we find what we like; so much of what I make and wear are variations on similar themes, no matter the century.

For some, dressing in the past is the only time they’re dressing up; their daily style is almost aggressively (or passive-aggressively) anti-style. But when the top hat comes out, look out: they’re dressed to the nines.