May 24, 2007

Passion for fashion

Jorge Yarur has been outbidding museums to acquire some of the most desirable pieces of 20th Century fashion for his made-from-scratch museum, which he fashioned out of his parents' house in Chile.
Andrew Bolton, a Costume Institute curator, toured the museum last week and described it as a poetic experience, citing the conversion of Mr. Yarur’s father’s bedroom, “which shows an enormous ball gown by Galliano from Dior’s autumn/winter 2002 haute couture collection splayed out on the bed, like a drunken, but very elegant socialite.” Mr. Bolton said he found himself coveting many pieces, including a sublime Balenciaga pink silk-taffeta gown from the late ’50s.

Ignacio Pérez Cotapos, the director of ED, a Chilean decorating magazine, and once a classmate of Mr. Yarur, whom he called by his nickname, Toto, said that Mr. Yarur’s family left him an enormous fortune and that when he had started sorting their clothing, he was inspired to build upon that with acquisitions. Mr. Bolton of the Met said he was touched by Mr. Yarur’s obvious devotion to his mother, Raquel Bascuñán Cugnoni, whose image, with remarkable physical similarities to Rita Hayworth, is shown at the museum in galleries and videos.

“Not unlike Dior, Jorge’s mother was the catalyst for his love of fashion,” Mr. Bolton said. “She’s the museum’s muse.”

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