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From Fragile to Funky: Flowers in Fashionable Fabrics, 1500-2000
Pasadena Museum of History
Pasadena, CA
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From Fragile to Funky: Flowers in Fashionable Fabrics, 1500-2000
Fashions may come and go, but as well hear from FIDM Museum's Leigh Wishner, floral motifs in textiles are perennial. Carnations, pansies, and roses decorated the most sumptuous Renaissance fabrics in a codified, symbolic system; tulip mania enthralled European collectors and textile designers in the seventeenth century, harmonizing with a surge in published botanical studies and naturalistic themes in silk weaving.  Orientalist flora on Indian and Chinese export goods held sway in the Age of Enlightenment, while historical revivals in the nineteenth century saw bolder versions of bygone floral patterns.  Art Nouveau artists arranged irises and poppies in fresh, exciting compositions, and catapulted a whole host of blossoms, blooms, and buds into the modern, twentieth-century worlda world that at times proclaimed Ornament is Crime! and, at others, Flower Power!

This colorfully illustrated lecture spans five hundred years of flowers that never fade in apparel and furnishing textiles. Whether woven or printed, embroidered or embellished with trompe loeil petals and three-dimensional bouquets, or pushed to their abstract limits in design, flowers continually captivate and provide endless sources of natural inspiration to fashion designers and interior decorators.

Tickets: $10 Textile Arts Council; $15 PMH Members; $20 General.  Tickets include entrance to the Galleries starting at 5:00 pm and a wine and cheese reception. Advanced ticket purchase is recommended. Tickets may be available at the door for an additional $5 charge.

If you are a Gold Needle Textile Arts Council member, and you would like to use one or both of your complementary lecture tickets, please email

Image: Evening Gown. Marc Bohan for Christian Dior Spring-Summer 1963. Printed silk/linen plain weave & silk organza flowers. FIDM Museum Collection (77.116.3 ), Gift of Mrs. Alfred Bloomingdale.


Pasadena Museum of History (View)
470 West Walnut Street
Pasadena, CA 91103
United States


Arts > Fashion

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Owner: Pasadena Museum of History
On BPT Since: Sep 02, 2008
Pasadena Museum of History
626.577.1660, ext.10

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