All through February, the Museo del Traje will show a selection of remarkable pieces from its jewellery collection on our Tumblr. These pieces are part of the temporary exhibition: “Dressing with Jewels. Fashions, types and prototypes” and address fundamental questions of how humans have dressed and adorned their bodies since centuries.
Each in its own way, both jewels and costumes dress the body; all through the ages, both garments and jewels have been essential elements of the attire of men and women. Their coexistence in the same physical frame allows for a complex relationship which is aesthetic, formal and functional at the same time. Jewels are, therefore, worn according to costume; this basic principle of jewellery is still alive today thanks to the remarkable adaptation abilities of jewels.
Jewels and costumes are also subject to the tides of fashion. Fashion is an extraordinarily complex social expression; this is mainly due to its permeability, a quality which allows fashion to work as both cause and effect. Talking about fashion is therefore talking about ways of use, about the different ways in which men and women have come to fulfill their needs, inlcuding the need for personal adornment. Jewels tell the story of this basic human aspiration through a seemingly unlimited répertoire of precious objects.
Jewels and costumes provide us with a series of models which work like mirrors of the historical periods in which they were conceived; moreover, they can also transform themselves –in form or in content- into never ceasing sources of inspiration for new fashions and new ways of use. Such is the case of Oriental jewels and jewels from Classical Antiquity, which have impregnated European and Spanish jewellery designs through the centuries.
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Find out more about the “Dressing with Jewels. Fashions, types and prototypes” exhibition
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