Text by Jahna Peloquin
Photos by Tara Sloane
Last Sunday, the Friends of the Goldstein celebrated the opening weekend of the Goldstein Museum of Design's latest exhibition, "Mao to Now: Chinese Fashion from 1949 to the Present," with a decadent evening of traditional Chinese performance and song, dance, fashion, food and libations at the home of the Ballet of the Dolls, the Ritz Theater.
After hobnobbing with Goldstein director Lin Nelson-Mayson and Goldstein board officer Betty Lyke Urie along with esteemed Chinese designers Wu Haiyan (who looked like the Chinese female version of Karl Lagerfeld) and Liu Canming via their translator, show curator JuanJuan Wu, and noshing on food and drink, we were beckoned into the theater by performers dressed in a traditional lion dance costume.
The traditional lion dance may have been the high point of the evening. Moving to the beat of traditional Chinese musicians the Ha Family, the dancers' acrobatics and energy were impressive, as was their ability to mimic the movements of a lion was astounding - not to mention their gorgeous, glittering costumes.
Then, in between a live auction that featured everything from a $1,000 shopping spree to Neiman Marcus to a one-of-a-kind tapestry designed by Wu Haiyan, we were entertained by a three-part dance and fashion show choreographed by Ballet of the Dolls artistic director Myron Johnson and costumer Grant Whittaker. Though at times it was difficult to sense the connection to Chinese fashion, the dancing was truly suburb and the costumes were colorful, bold and eye-catching.
You can still catch the exhibition, "Mao to Now," now through January 17, 2011 at the Goldstein Museum of Design, McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave., St. Paul, 612-624-7434, goldstein.umn.edu.