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EuropeanaFashion Explore fashion - historical clothing and accessories, contemporary designs, catwalk photographs, drawings, sketches, plates, catalogues and videos - from museums and archives across Europe.
Europeana Fashion brings together the digitised collections of more than 30 European public and private institutions dealing with dress and fashion.
Timeless Technology: The Jacquard Loom Before the 1800s, weaving was a repetitive and mechanical process: lots of time and skill were required in order to produce the embellished textiles that were all the rage amongst the higher strata of society. Between 1801 and 1806, French weaver Joseph-Marie Jacquard developed a machine that was then individuated as one of the most important technological advancement in history: the Jacquard Loom. Fabric of jacquard silk made by Tholozan et Cie, Lyon, 1855, Courtesy Victoria and Albert Museum, CC BY Joseph-Marie Jacquard was born in Lyons in 1752, from a family of weavers. At the time, not only did weaving require a skilled weaver managing the loom, but also another professional, called drawboy, who was to sit next to the weaver and move the threads according to the design of the cloth. Jacquard was familiar with the process and understood that, in order to make the most from the business, it was key to make these passages automatic. Once his parents died, he inherited the family business and devoted much of his time to study and develop a new machine that could make the weaving process faster ad more profitable. Ribbon of Jacquard-woven figured silk, made by Cox & Co., Coventry, 1850, Courtesy Victoria and Albert Museum, CC BY Jacquard worked on his invention at the end of 1700s, but was interrupted buy the French Revolution. After the revolution, he went back to his project and developed a machine that he presented in Paris in 1804, where he patented his invention and was given a medal. The French government claimed that the loom was to become a public property, leaving Jacquard with no more than a small royalty. The Jacquard loom was based on a system of cards, needles and hooks. The cards were made of cardboard, where holed could be easily punched in order to create the design; the hooks and needles used followed the holes in the cardboard, passing through these holes and inserting the thread to create the pattern. The more intricate the design was, the more cards were arranged one after the other in the loom. Thanks to the system on which it was based, the loom allowed to create highly complex designs and patterns, in which new colors could be used and marvelous patterns developed. Manuscript related mainly to jacquard weaving, Courtesy MoMU - Modemuseum Provincie Antwerpen, All Rights Reserved In terms of impact, it is not an exaggeration to say that Jacquard’s invention not only revolutionised the textile industry, but was also fundamentally for a more general technological advancement. Jacquard’s invention helped not only the textile industry, but helped in the advance of technology. The Jacquard loom not only cut back on the amount of human labor, but also allowed for patterns to now be stored on cards and to be utilized over and over again to achieve the same product. The jacquard loom allowed to ‘save’ patterns on cards that could be archived and re-used, cutting on time, labour and costs. The system followed a mathematical algorithm, and some have argued that the jacquard loom holds many similarities with computers: both machine work by storing and organising information. 15 May blog
Runway Archive: Comme des Garçons, A/W 1997 Karen Elson walking the Comme des Garçons a/w 1997 fashion show, photo by Etienne Tordoir. Courtesy Catwalkpictures, all rights reserved. The picture, taken by the photographer Etienne Tordoir, captures one of the looks on the runway of Comme des Garçons a/w 1997 collection. The outfit consists of an asymmetrical dress made of a light, transparent fabric paired with panels in a thicker one, embroidred with floral motifs in different colours. Under the dress, model Karen Elson wears orange knee-long trousers and flat shoes with a fur ponpon on their point. On her face, Elson wears a heavy make up with black, thick, painted eyebrows. Rei Kawakubo, who founded Comme des Garçons in Tokyo in 1973, is now the subject of the second ever exhibition dedicated to a living fashion designer at MET's Costume Intitute, 'Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons. Art of the In-Between', on show through September 4th. The exhibition celebrates the designer exceptional approach to fashion design, which makes her one of the most unique voices in the contemporary fashion scene. Rei Kawakubo's complex silhouettes, both in meaning and construction, give an insight of her creative process, that has been documented in her iconic biannual pubblication Six, issued between 1988 and 1991. 11 May blog
Capturing Fashion in the 20th Century with Frieda Verhees' Study Collection Our long time partner MoMu, the Fashion Museum of the Province of Antwerp, is raising funds for a unique study collection that will made accessible to researchers, students and designers thousands of clothes and accessories from the 20th century. Frieda explaining her collection to the students. Image courtesy Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, all rights reserved. These are part of an articulate collection put together by costume designer and teacher Frieda Verhees, who collected these pieces as a source of inspiration for her work in theather as well as an educational resource for her costume history students. Moving the collection into the museum's library will let more people come in contact with her incredible collection and with an insight on the history of costume; it will also enable students, designers and researchers to experience these pieces not only through their eyes, but also with their hands.The study collection will also be documented with an online archive, which will record Frieda's stories about the collection. Moreover, the initiave includes the creation of educational materials about the collector and her collection, as well as an educational film. Exemples from the study collection. Imagecourtesy MoMu Antwerp, photo by Monica Ho, all rights reserved. To achieve these goals, MoMu needs your help and support. Visit Goteo and donate to the project. To thank you for your help MoMu offers a range of rewards, including adopting a piece from the study collection or an exclusive visit behind the scenes at MoMu. More information can be found here. It is also possible to make a gift and receive a tax deductible certificate in return (only for Belgium taxpayers). For more information contact email@example.com. The project ‘Capturing the 20th Century Fashion with Frieda Verhees’ Study Collection’ is a joint initiative of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp (dept. Costume Design) and Fashion Museum Province of Antwerp, in collaboration with the European platform for cultural heritage Europeana and crowdfunding platform Goteo. 08 May blog
Runway Archive: Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, A/W 1982-83 Model Pat Cleveland walking the Jean Charles de Castelbajac autumn/winter 1982-83 fashion show in Paris, Courtesy Paul Van Riel, All Rights Reserved The image shows model Pat Cleveland walking the Jean Charles de Castelbajac autumn/winter 1982-83 fashion show in Paris. The model is wearing an oversized poncho-dress in colourful checked wool, which seems to be made of a giant scarf draped around a body. Designer Jean Charles de Castelbajac is known for his irreverent and yet conceptual take on fashion. His first collection was presented in 1970 and made immediate sensation because he sent out on the runway a model dressed in a blanket. Amongst his most know creations are the Poncho for Two, the teddy bear jacket and, of course, the many reinterpretations of classic outerwear, with which the designer played, adding extravagant details such as feathers and unexpected materials, and often referencing pop art and street art. 04 May blog
Great News: Europeana Fashion on Europeana.eu Fashion has landed on Europeana.eu with a brand new thematic collection. The rich content hosted on the Europeana Fashion Portal has now migrated on the Europeana.eu infrastructure. The new layout wants to make items more easily searchable, in order to engage with the existing audience and appeal new ones, of professionals and amateurs alike. This migration is a result of the collaboration between the Europeana Fashion International Association and the Europeana Foundation, and it will allow crossovers with the other existing thematic collections - for now, Art and Music - giving the chance to researchers and enthusiasts to widen their knowledge and wander into an incredible number of items from different disciplines. The Europeana Fashion International Association, which is running the largest digital fashion heritage aggregator online, aims to act as a point of reference for fashion institutions in Europe and worldwide, proposing itself as shared ground where a dialogue amongst museums, private archives and also academic institutions is fostered and encouraged. The Association will be in charge of the curation of content showcased in the new thematic collection: blog posts and editorial activities are planned in coordination with the partners of the Association to best unveil and propose to a wider audience the amazing content held in the Europeana Fashion aggregator. The digital items -more than one million objects- are varied, spanning in chronology as well as geography, ranging from historical dresses and accessories, samples of textiles and embroideries, theatrical costumes, fashion plates, drawings, sketches, illustrations, videos, editorials, advertising campaigns, catwalk photographs and documentations on past exhibitions. Stay tuned and discover the possibilities of searching the new fashion collection on Europeana. A new interface, but the same address: www.europeanafashion.eu 03 May blog
The Editor's Column: Technologies Fashion, as a design discipline, comes out of processes that require specific knowledge and skills in order to produce any output. The set of techniques and methods implied in the production of fashion objects is technology. Over history, the methods of fashion and those of technology have overlapped and joined forces, producing not only objects, but progess in a wider sense. Silk Ribbon woven on a Jacquard loom designed by M. Clack, ca. 1850, Courtesy Victoria and Albert Museum, CC BY-NC Looking at fashion objects, both historical and contemporary, can shed light not only on the reasons, but also on the ways new technologies developed. Technological innovation have often developed thanks to the demand of the market, driven by the thrive of new or different fashions for the most diverse reasons: class distinction, economic supremacy, desire to either fit in or stand out. The fashion system relied on technology not only to produce objects, but also to create meaning and build a narrative around the objects: this is the case of photos, plates and images crafted to make fashion a fascinating myth. Nowadays, the word technology is tightly linked to digital tools. The possibilities digital technologies have opened up for museums and archives allow these institutions to exploit the potential of their collections and develop new, interesting ways to either preserve, exhibit and communicate their amazing holdings and ways to manage them. Dress by designer Iris Van Herpen, 2007, Courtesy Central Museum, All Rights Reserved We, as Europeana Fashion, feel part of this new technological era, and that’s why we decided to explore the meaning of the relationship between fashion heritage and technology - or, better, technologies - by looking at the very objects and retracing their stories. This theme will also be celebrated and analysed thoroughly in our upcoming symposium ‘Fashion Digital Memories’, in collaboration with IUAV University of Venice and Parsons Paris, which will take place in Venice on 22nd and 23rd May. 01 May blog
Hermès A/W 2001-2002 Coats worn two by two in kidskin, high-neck... Hermès A/W 2001-2002 Coats worn two by two in kidskin, high-neck tunic pullover in cashmere, pants in cashmere flannel, riding boots and gloves in leather. Photo: Stany Dederen.Maison Martin Margiela A/W 1997-1998, Photo: Marina Faust. ‘Margiela, The Hermès Years’, 31st March - 27th August 2017. Image courtesy MoMu - Fashion Museum Antwerp. 30 Apr 07:38 tumblr
Maison Martin Margiela A/W 1992-1993, Photo: Marina Faust.Hermès... Maison Martin Margiela A/W 1992-1993, Photo: Marina Faust.Hermès A/W 2002-2003 Tunic pullover in cashmere, pants in cashmere flannel, scarf in lambskin, ankle boots and gloves in leather, Photo: Stany Dederen. ‘Margiela, The Hermès Years’, 31st March - 27th August 2017. Image courtesy MoMu - Fashion Museum Antwerp. 30 Apr 07:36 tumblr
Maison Martin Margiela, A/W 1994-1995, Photo: Marina... Maison Martin Margiela, A/W 1994-1995, Photo: Marina Faust.Hermès A/W 1999-2000 Shawl collar cardigan and sleeveless tunic pullover in cashmere, ‘Portraits de femme en Hermès’, Le Monde d’Hermès, Model: Marie-Anne Van der Plaetsen, Photo: Joanna Van Mulder. ‘Margiela, The Hermès Years’, 31st March - 27th August 2017. Image courtesy MoMu - Fashion Museum Antwerp. 30 Apr 07:33 tumblr
Left, Maison Martin Margiela A/W 1996-1997, Photo: Anders... Left, Maison Martin Margiela A/W 1996-1997, Photo: Anders Erdström. Right, Hermès A/W 1998-1999, Photo: Studio des Fleurs. ‘Margiela, The Hermès Years’, 31st March - 27th August 2017. Image courtesy MoMu - Fashion Museum Antwerp. 25 Apr 08:00 tumblr
Left, Maison Martin Margiela S/S 1996 ‘Trompe l’oeuil’... Left, Maison Martin Margiela S/S 1996 ‘Trompe l’oeuil’ silhouette; right, Hermès A/W 1999-2000, long double coat, sleeveless high-neck pullover and gloves in cashmere, Photo: Stany Dederen. ‘Margiela, The Hermès Years’, 31st March - 27th August 2017. Image courtesy MoMu - Fashion Museum Antwerp. 24 Apr 08:00 tumblr
Maison Martin Margiela, A/W 1997-1998, fur wig, gilet in linen,... Maison Martin Margiela, A/W 1997-1998, fur wig, gilet in linen, blouse in cotton, skirt in wool and shoes in leather, Photo: Stany Dederen. ‘Margiela, The Hermès Years’, 31st March - 27th August 2017. Image courtesy MoMu - Fashion Museum Antwerp. 22 Apr 18:56 tumblr