The Art of fashion in exhibitions

The Art of fashion in exhibitions

Especially in Europe there are lately smaller museums showing the art of fashion with a particular edge, in Zurich, Switzerland, an exhibition to the kingdom of creases showed fashion and the Art of Textiles from Japan, the reopened fashion museum of the city of Paris at Palais Galliera showed a retro-prospective on Azzedine Alaïa, and the Musée d’art et d’histoire in Swiss Fribourg and the Musee Gruérien in Bulle (CH) present an exhibition on “dress code” (closing on March 2, 2014)

The exhibition of the Kingdom of creases from Japan showcased that today’s fashion labels Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons are famous around the globe, but their sources of inspiration is based upon Japanese craftsmanship tradition. The exhibition was launched in honour of the 150th anniversary of Swiss-Japanese Friendship. Over 100 pieces of fashion items s, not only present the innovation power of Japanese fashion designers, but they prove to be It the true documentation that fashion and textile industry has a long tradition in Japan. The new creations show three joint consistencies the construction of the fabric, the treatment of the surface with creases and a pure aesthetic, ingenious in its simplicity.

Clothing in Japan starts always with a kimono, the epitome of Japanese dressing, no matter if it is embroidered, made of silk or from cotton-Yukata. The fabric width is around 40 cm and corresponding with the measure of the Japanese loom. In a very simple manner these panels of fabric are formed to sleeves, front and back parts, as well as collars, cut and sown. The third dimension, the human corps is going to be draped and tailor made. All the nuances were present in this exhibition in Zurich (CH), at Museum Bellerive and closing on January 12, 2014.

Totally other aspects are presented in the French section of Switzerland in Fribourg and Bulle, it was a direct reflection of what fashion meant in the historic past and also standards of living, especially in the canton (state) of Fribourg. The dresses shown give an insight on what the societies considered of value, might it be the fabric, styles and accessories and within a spectrum of the regional fashion from the late Middle Age to around 1930 as a cultural and historic panorama. The two museums complement each other in perfection. Dress codes are not a modern invention they existed already in old times and full of little details to pay attention to. With other words a terrific show of the past with parallels to historic development of societies.


Totally different impressions were gained at the re-opened Museum of Fashion of the City of Paris, France at Palais Galliera up to January 26, 2014. The museum is rather small and ornamented which requires that the pieces presented have to come to limelight with special effects. Paris designer and couturier Azzedine Alaïa is the developer of a special way to present his oeuvres: He vests plexiglass mannequin silhouettes and then cuts off the unnecessary plexiglass parts (arms, legs, heads), creating a special glamour for his creations and directing visitors to only catch the impression of his creation. The creations are only mounted on a metal bar in a socket. Groups of these phantom mannequins hover over an elevation of only a few centimetres. The light in the different rooms is dimmed. Spotlights create a play of light and shadows to give the models the air of a relief. There are only women, no male clothing, no sketches, no photographs, no videos or detailed explanations. The show is a celebration of the aesthetic quality of the models in purity. The placing of the models follows the architecture of the rooms, there is no set path and thus pleasant surprises are given, and because of the freedom it makes a lot of work to browse through the catalogue, because each object is described but not in the sequence one is attending the exhibition that has to be seen as a real contribution to praise women through a enormous variety of fashion art, from simple to exquisite! Actually and up to March 16, 2014, there is another exhibition: the story of a wardrobe with 400 pieces of the past in company with Alice Allaume, a Parisienne who was the first saleswomen at Maison Chéruit at the beginning of the last century. 

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