"The Loves of Aaron Burr: Portraits in Corsetry and Binding"
"Front Row: Chinese-American Designers"
"Dramatic Jewelry: The Five Masters"
Aaron Burr, the third Vice President of the United States, lived in Washington Heights’ Morris-Jumel Mansion from 1832 to 1835. Although he was a proponent of gender equality (in 1800 he submitted a bill to allow women to vote), Burr was a notorious lothario. Designer and costumer Camilla Huey spent ten years researching the influential women in Burr’s life; this exhibit focuses on eight of them, including his second wife, Eliza Jumel, his daughter, Theodosia Burr Alston, and his first love, Margaret Moncrieffe. To represent them, Huey has created eight corsets based on each of their heights and measurements, displayed in the second-floor period rooms and down the main staircase. Look closely and you’ll see the dames’ handwritten letters woven into each piece.
Some of the biggest names in fashion, including Vera Wang and Anna Sui, share cultural roots. Celebrate their milestone careers and those of up-and-comers Jason Wu and Derek Lam at this high-end display. New York designer Mary Ping guest-curated the collection, highlighting more than 20 standout pieces from 16 couturiers. Expect to see a Peter Som silk frock from fall 2010, a Wayne Lee black-and-white dress from spring 2012 and a stunning Zang Toi hand-beaded knit gown from spring 1991.
While trend-conscious women all over the world are currently donning bold and colorful rings, necklaces and bangles, this contemporary five-designer showcase brings statement baubles to another level. You’ll find glass displays filled with one-of-a-kind bespoke pieces from British designer Charlotte De Syllas, American craftsman Michael Good, Italian sculptor Paolo Marcolongo, Germany’s Peter Schmid, and couple Tom and Jutta Munsteiner. The Instagram-worthy items include 18-karat gold brooches, blown-glass-and-metal rings and geometrically cut gems that are more wearable art than jewelry. On May 18, Good stops by to talk about his work and anticlastic raising, the metalsmithing technique he developed (2–5pm; free).