I love history. Not in the terms of dates or battles or war strategies, but in the way that people lived. My favorite part of museums is seeing artifacts - furniture, housewares, fashion - I love the intimate insight into the past through someone else's things.
Cleveland has its own very illustrious history, particularly when it comes to fashion. Back in the 1920s and 1930s, Cleveland was home to THE Rockefellers and many other prominent Cleveland families, and the women of the era were very much in tune with European and New York fashions of the time.
In the 50s and 60s, subsequent generations started clearing their ancestors closets, and a number of these pieces ended up at the Cleveland History Center. In fact, the Cleveland History Center has been collecting apparel and textiles for a number of years, and has amassed what is widely considered one of the Top 10 collections in the country. And this year, in celebration of 150 years, some of these gorgeous, one-of-a-kind pieces will be on display in a new exhibit - WOW Factor: 150 Years of Collecting Bold Clothes. The exhibit will run through March 2018, but you can be one of the first people to experience the collection by attending the opening to the exhibit! I mean, who doesn't want to get all fashionable for the evening and show off their style at a fabulously stylish event?!
The exhibit includes pieces from some prominent Clevelanders in history, celebrities like Lebron James, and local trendsetters, designers, and reality TV Stars Valerie Mayen and FOUNT Leather. And then it also includes a series of pieces from everyday Clevelanders, like ME!!!
I am so honored to have loaned some accessories from my private collection (not Bombay Taxi Boutique pieces) to help round out this exhibit, and share some of my history and my family's history as part of this celebration.
The two bangles above are from my Mom's collection - vintage Indian silver jewelry. The two pair of earrings are modern interpretations of classically Indian designs. The pair earrings on the left are called "Victorian style" because they are modeled after jewelry from the era of Queen Victoria of England, back when she was Empress of India. The ones on the right is most likely derived from Persian designs - all part of India's rich, diverse history.
When I was very young, I once grabbed my Mom's jewelry as she was getting ready for party and tried to put it on. I also had a massive hissy fit at my aunt's wedding because I wasn't allowed to wear my mother's pearls. Needless to say, my love for jewelry has deep roots. When my mother was in her 20s, she started collecting silver jewelry, and when I was a teenager, I inherited her collection. And I wore these pieces every day - stacks of bangles, earrings -- there was almost never a day that I wasn't wearing jewelry - and this is true even today. It is this love and passion around jewelry that drove me to start Bombay Taxi Boutique, and it is such an incredible honor to share some of my passion with my beloved adopted city of Cleveland via this small contribution to the WOW Factor exhibit! I hope you will go check it out!