mercredi 5 mai 2010

An exhibit on Black

As I mentioned in my earlier post, the Mode Museum is one of those museums worth checking out in Antwerp. They always have the most interesting exhibitions. Currently running is the exhibit: Black: Masters of Black in Fashion and Costume. Now we are all in agreement that the LBD is every girl’s fashion staple but how many variations of the LBDs could there possibly to justify devoting an entire exhibit on it?

In fact, the exhibit was much more than dresses. To quote the brochure the exhibit “illustrates the different historical phases of the color black, with examples from painting, historic costume and contemporary fashion.” So while we may think that black as a fashion staple was always a given, it apparently wasn’t always the case. In fact, the exhibit takes pains to point out that during the 16th century, when scientists were immersed in the study of color, there was a whole debate about whether black could even be considered color. What was even more interesting is to find out that for a very long time, dyeing cloths black was a long and expensive process. As such black fabric was reserved for royalty or the very rich. To have clothes made of black fabric denoted wealth and status. A far cry from the ubiquitous black dresses we now see.

The exhibit very cleverly juxtaposed ancient mourning costumes with the more extravagant creations of such designers as Tisci of Givenchy, Comme des Garcon, Viktor and Rolf and Gareth Pugh. The exhibit also took pains to include whenever possible some references to the costumes cultural context by showing paintings and drawings reflecting the evolution of the use of black in fashion. Some of the clothes on display are wonderful exercises in extravagance (I can imagine Tilda Swinton in many of the dresses) while others are just plain old bizarre. An outfit made completely of black hair to cite just one example of the more bizarre ones.

What I enjoyed the most were the accessories featured. There were two wonderfully eccentric headdresses ( the word hat doesn’t come close to describing them) by master milliner Philip Treacy that I can perfectly imagine on Grace Jones. And because jewelry cannot be far behind where there are clothes, the exhibit also featured some lovely jewelry made of jet. I loved the beautiful lace fans even if they probably aren’t the most practical things to carry around.

Fortunately we could take pictures of the clothes ......

A dress by the late Alexander McQueen....

Gareth Pugh's black and white dress..
A general view of the room.....

It wouldn't have been complete with Chanel's LBD... this is a reproduction of the Ford T-Dress from 1926 but the drawing is one by the lady herself

Some lovely period pieces
See what I mean about Grace Jones being perfect for these hats?
My favorite of the jewelry..

2 commentaires:

redaddict a dit…

is this exhibition ever coming to france by any chance? otherwise thanks for giving me a glimpse og it!

Pink Princess a dit…

I don't know but it should! Its really interesting. I'm glad you liked the pictures!!