The Easel

31st August 2021

Why is Yves Saint Laurent’s “Sardine Dress” So Compelling?

An elegy to “small-scale artistry”. The Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watt regarded his Saville Row suits as works of art. What, then, about Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘sardine’ dress? The hand embroidery took 1500 hours and uses 19th century stitching techniques. Tiny gelatin sequins create a look of opalescent scales, or perhaps moonlight on “a disturbance on a calm bay”. “Hand embroidery is something emotional … it’s something that comes from the soul”.

24th August 2021

A First-Rate Weathervane Show at the American Folk Art Museum

When people walked everywhere, weathervanes were a building’s “exclamation point”. Besides providing weather information they also declared allegiance, or perhaps just local pride. As such they were a notable area of American craft and “at their finest, as much art as the best American silver and furniture.” At some point, though, when horse and buggies were common, their audience dwindled and weathervanes became merely quaint. More images are here.