July 3, 2013

Just a bit of fun

Yesterday evening, I returned from a short trip: a few days in Antwerp with the black-and-white photographer and the sculptress, a.k.a. my parents. We enjoyed the beautiful old city, the many museums, some great food and finally a bit of slightly summer-y weather. 
The museum I, predictably, liked best was MoMu, the Fashion Museum. It is not a large museum but it is always dedicated, only, to fashion. The current main exhibit is all about the fabric printed (by one now sadly no longer existing company) for the haute couture houses of the 1950's and 60's. There is some fabulous fabric one display there and of course some eh... examples of its use. There's a slideshow on the museum's homepage to which I've linked.
I particularly loved the Balenciaga pieces. 

And this is just a random picture, which I thought would be nice to share with you:

Strolling along the Nationalestraat (the main street of the fashion quarter), we also explored some promising looking sidestreets and came across this window display. Two whole shop windows stacked with vintage sewing machines. The store was just selling men's clothes (like the t-shirts behind the sewing machines) so they were just there as decoration. 
As a seamstress, I never know whether to love or hate something like this... It's great for non-sewing people to appreciate the beauty of these old machines and for them to acknowledge where clothes come from. However, it does seem a bit sad to use so many Singers, Pfaffs, Joneses and machines from other brands I had never heard of, purely as decoration. 
Though, coming to think of it, it's likely very few of these are in working order and even if they are, many of their peers end up in the skip when their owners don't want them anymore. Still working or not, being turned into a window display seems like a more worthy retirement for an old sewing machine...


  1. Sounds like a wonderful time! The window display is the chain's signature thing, I think. There's one in Berlin as well. Mixed feelings here, too (but I'm one to talk with a small collection of sewing machine gathering dust in my berging!). It depends on your definition of in working order, but I think most of them would still sew beautifully (after a little cleaning perhaps).

    1. I forget which clothing store does this but there's one in London as well. I felt happy to see the machines displayed. It showcases their beauty in their own right and as yous ay saves them from the skip..

    2. There's an All Saints in Seattle too. I keep coveting the sewing machines.

  2. According to Wikipedia All Saints has 65 stores. There is one in NYC too! I have heard it said that they are all not working machines, but even if they are it is probably a safer place for some.

  3. I've been past the All Saints store in New York, but have never been in. I have mixed feelings about the machines too. Perhaps its the attachment to mass-market clothes that bothers me about it...

  4. just want you to know that I have been following your blog for a few years, Although I do not sew my own clothes anymore. I like the way I get a sense of time, place and your life....just what a blog should be,