Thursday, July 22, 2010

" Masters of Black in fashion and costume", at MoMu, Antwerp

The MoMu (Mode Museum Provincie Antwerp) is offering from last March and during this summer an exhibtion about "black and wearing that color" from various perspectives. The show is called BLACK: Masters of Black in Fashion and Costume,” on view through August 8th and the visitor's leaflet.

photo from MoMu website
The exhibit examines the always interesting and shifting idea of “the new black.” Illustrates the historic phases of the colour black, with examples from painting, historic costume and contemporary fashion. It also looks more deeply into the textures and the potentials of black in diverse materials, including fur, leather and lace. In addition, the exhibition includes masterpieces by contemporary designers who, like the city of Antwerp, have a special connection to black.
Sounding very attractive by title, the content of the show ends being a little short in pieces. The display is divided by sections, up to 22, each one with a title that aims to explain the different concepts treated in the exhibit.  At the entrance of the exhibit the visitor receives a leaflet with abstracts (explanantions) and list of pieces, names of coutire houses and designers presented and labels for other objects.
Plan of the exhibit
The scenography honoring the title of the show is most powerful and the darkness embraces the ambience and the pieces shown, clothes and costumes, ornamental objects, paintings, illustrations, etc.  The dark atmosphere created by the almost absence of light is interrupted by spolights that focus each of the pieces, most of them standing on huge irregular black tables, offering the notion of islands in the middle of a "black sea", a very dramatic effect.  Temporary walls, also painted in black, divide some of the sections and also serve as surface where to hang paintings or display other objects, that are the artistic or historic reference to the concept presented.

The exhibit covers some some milestinos in history of fashion, such as a replica of the Chanel's "Ford T dress", the celebrated prototype of the "petite robe noir", the elegant and always in fashion black dress.

Among the designers presented are some of the famous Antwerp Six from Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Fashion Department) plus renowned international and couture houses, such as Givenchy, Chanel, Viktor & Rolf, Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint-LaurentJunya Watanabe, Comme des Garçons, Gareth Pough, etc.

Pieces are from the MoMu's own collection, loans from other museums, private collectors or the couture houses presented.
Views of the exhibition:

Dramatic entrance to the exhibition
This would be the final section as the closing of the exhibition.

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