little black dress

The little black dress

I had the opportunity on Thursday evening to be at the opening dinner at the Denver Art Museum for the new tapestry exhibition, Creative Crossroads: The Art of Tapestry which opens today.

The invitation came with the ominous words, cocktail attire. If you know me, you know that if I can't wear "yoga pants," I am most comfortable in blue jeans. I am definitely not someone who pulls off fancy dress easily.

Though I was very excited to be invited to the event, I did put off thinking about what I might wear until Thursday morning. I rummaged in the depths of my closet and found three skirts and four dresses.

I know. I was surprised by the numbers too.

After much debate and a long back and forth between the long printed skirt with boots I really wanted to wear and the little black dress with shoulder straps and a lowish back from my sister's wedding, the black dress won. It seemed to best fit the definition of "cocktail attire" I had in my mind (largely gleaned from movies and not necessarily accurately either considering The Royal Tenenbaums is one of my favorites).

My sister has been married long enough to build a house, two businesses, and two children since the wedding, so you know that dress has been around awhile. And it still fit.

The problem was the undergarments. I have no idea what I wore at the original event, but no bra in my drawer was going to work with that dress. So, two hours before we had to leave for Denver, I found myself at Macys in the bra department pawing through the never-before-experienced land under the strapless sign. I muttered something about how monumentally uncomfortable these seemed to be and the perky young clerk said, "that is the price we have to pay for being women!" I coughed to cover the "bulls***" that involuntarily escaped. I have no problem with blue jeans and cotton pullovers which never ever require a bra without straps. I was going a long way out on a limb in the name of tapestry here and I definitely don't think being a woman should require wearing uncomfortable clothing.

I grabbed the best one and ran when she suggested I try the contraption she wore for her prom, a set of cups that apparently you just stick to your breasts with adhesive. A woman who just went to her high school prom might well get away with something like this, but let me tell you, once that big Four-Oh rolls on by, the girls get a little more saggy and there is no way a stick-on "bra" is going to fly.

The evening went quite well. (Except perhaps for that moment when the tiny purple carrot was a little harder than my butter knife-technique could handle and went shooting into my lap and onto the floor.)

The tapestry show is stunning. I only had an hour to look at it and I will return soon for the full experience.
James Koehler, Ramona Sakiestewa, Rebecca Bluestone in Creative Crossroads at the Denver Art Museum
I was invited to this event because I was interviewed on video about my time working with James Koehler with fellow Koehler-student Barb Brophy. One of his pieces is in the DAM collection and this exhibition. You can watch the video on an iPad near the work.

The event was also a sendoff for the amazing Alice Zrebiec who was textile curator there for 19 years.
Alice Zrebiec and Irvin Trujillo. Irvin is talking about one of the two pieces he has in the show. (second one not pictured)
Alice's dissertation which I ordered a month ago was on the porch on Friday. Evening reading... check.