Fashion | August 4, 2022 |

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Image courtesy of Dijon Museum of Fine Arts | Philippe Bornier

À LA MODE: the art of appearance in the 18th Century
Musée des beaux-arts de Dijon, France
May 13 – August 22, 2022

In collaboration with the Musee d’arts of Nantes and the Musee de la Mode-Palais Galliera in Paris, the Musee des Beaux-Arts of Dijon presents a temporary exhibition devoted to the theme of fashion and costume in 18th-century painting. The history of costume and its representation in the Age of Enlightenment is as much the illustration of material culture as a manifestation of the imagination. In the 18th century, the birth of fashion showed first and foremost society’s rapid transformation and was marked by an emergence of new professions and a specialized press.

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Image courtesy of Dijon Museum of Fine Arts | Philippe Bornier

The French style, worn by both the aristocracy and the urban upper middle classes, dominated all the courts and cities of Europe. An encounter between certain artworks and 18th-century costumes gives way to an exploration of this new display and staging of the body, which took into account both social demands and the whims of taste. The exhibition brings together more than 200 18th century objects from major textile museums (Musee de la Mode de la Ville Paris, Musee des Tissus de Lyon, Musee de la Toile de Jouy, Musée de la Chemiserie et de (‘Elegance Masculine d’Argenton) and other fine arts museums (the Chateau de Versailles, the Louvre, Ecouen, Nantes, Quimper, Tours, Orleans, London…).

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Image courtesy of Dijon Museum of Fine Arts | Philippe Bornier

This presentation of such numerous textiles and costumes, many of which have been restored for the occasion, is absolutely exceptional. The scenography unfolds in four distinct spheres, evoking the many facets that reveal the relationship between painters and fashion. The first chapter of the exhibition demonstrates the intensifying momentum of the “Fashion Phenomena” both in painting and in clothing, through a rivalry between the ruling elite and the rising classes. The second chapter, the “Fashion Factory,” shows painters as the true ancestors of couturiers and fashion designers. The third chapter, “Artists’ Fantasies,” explores the inspiration of imaginary pictorial worlds on clothing resulting in emblematic fashion styles.

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Image courtesy of Dijon Museum of Fine Arts | Philippe Bornier

Finally the last part, “The Story of the Negligee or Dishabille,” highlights scantier clothing from the dressing gown to the empire waist dress, from Vestal veils to the antique version of the negligee to take a unique look at the growing vogue for the less dressed look in both the male and female wardrobe.

more. www.musees.dijon.fr

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Image courtesy of Dijon Museum of Fine Arts | Philippe Bornier

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