Take your fashionable crush on your 3rd date here

Friday’s Fashion + Fitness. 27th edition…A lovely Saturday afternoon. d198c631-cec0-42ab-a5d7-1d0854118516


I haven’t been on a 3rd date since 2010, so I realize I can’t really comment from experience. But if I were to go on a 3rd date, I’d be pretty into this one – an afternoon at the Met’s Through the Looking Glass exhibit. Here’s the quick explanation – the collection shows how Chinese aesthetics have influenced western fashion. Turns out the Chinese have been fueling fashion imaginations for centuries. If you’re not sure which lucky lady (or guy) you want to take yet, don’t worry. The exhibit has been extended through September 7, 2015. You’ve got one month to figure it out.

Parents also make excellent substitutes. When Alex (BF) and Andrew (Brother) found out the afternoon agenda, both seemed to suddenly “already have” their own plans. Alex played golf. Andrew met up with friends in Red Hook (one of the further away parts of Brooklyn), so he “probably wouldn’t make it back in time”. He didn’t.

Mom, Dad, and I ventured on without them. Above, we saw a simple (decently effective) example of how ceramics have influenced fashion. Perhaps a bit of a stretch, but I’ll share 3 compelling anecdotes so you’ll be informed when you step foot inside. If you don’t make it, I’m all about you using these stories and acting like you did :).


Marijuana may be legal in a few states these days, but in 1977, naming this fragrance Opium proved controversial even in those hedonistic ’70s. Alongside an extravagant haute-couture collection,launched this Opium fragrance. The woman behind me at the museum assured me that the perfume smells wonderful, with notes of amber, jasmine, and mandarin. But the name itself was a triple offender. Opium, the perfume, was perceived to cause the following damage: 1. Trivialize the 19th century Opium Wars between China and Britain, 2. Objectify women with a highly sexualized ad & 3.Endorse drug use.


Kind of like ordering something off a menu in a different language. You think it sounds good, but you don’t really know what you’re about to eat. In fashion, designers have been repeatedly inspired by Chinese characters. Here, Dior adapted the eloquent characters for this 1951 cocktail dress. It turns out the characters come from a letter where someone is complaining of a terribly painful stomach ache. Oops. Definitely more about the decorative possibilities than the linguistic significance here. At least it looks really good!


If you’re sick of the ’50 Shades of Grey’ puns, you can now move on to the ‘many shades of red’. In Chinese culture, red has traditionally symbolized good fortune and happiness. It also came to represent the communist revolution. In the West, we associate red so strongly with China that it has come to stand for the entire nation. Valentino chose the color as a theme for the 2013 Manifesto collection and dedicated it to “the many shades of red.” Red has long been a signature color of the Valentino house, so I’m thinking a double meaning was at work here.

Know anyone headed to NYC soon? Or someone who lives here but has maybe never stepped foot in the Met? Share the love, and I’ll love you. Forward along to any friends you think might want to join the Venable Friday fun! Cc or bcc sarah@shopvenable.com, and I’ll send good things your way. Or just let them subscribe below. You’ll have good karma.

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