Archive for December, 2014

Party dresses!

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Fashion plate, Christmas and New Year's Party, December 1875. The Young Ladies' Journal.  Collection Victoria and Albert Museum. CC-BY-SA

Searching for a fashionable idea for your New Year’s Eve party dress? Find it in this selection of the most wonderful evening dresses and gowns in our Europeana Fashion collection!

Fashion plate, Christmas and New Year's Party, December 1875. The Young Ladies' Journal. Collection Victoria and Albert Museum. CC-BY-SA

For centuries now, it is a tradition for people to meet and gather themselves on New Year’s Eve to celebrate together. It is during these occasions that people do their best to keep themselves fashionable. Here on Europeana Fashion it is full of examples of the most amazing and breathtaking gowns fashion offered us in centuries. Let yourself be inspired!

vening dress and shoes in silk matelasse brocade, designed by Givenchy, Paris, ca. 1955. Silk matelasse brocade. Collection Victoria and Albert Museum. CC-BY-NC

Evening gown in silk chiffon and rhinestone, designed by Madeleine Vionnet, embroideries by Lesage, 1930. Collection Les Arts Décoratifs. All rights reserved.

Ball gown designed by Chalers Frederick Worth, 1886. Collection Centraal Museum. All rights reserved.

Girl wearing a dress by Lucien Lelong, picture by Saad Georges, 1937. Collection Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. CC-BY-NC-SA

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Curation by Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti on Tumblr

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Emilio Schuberth evening dress in silk chiffon, designed in 1955-56 ca.  Collection Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti, Florence. All rights reserved. Photo: Gabinetto fotografico SBAS, Mauro Carrieri.

This month, Europeana Fashion’s latest associate partner Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti, Florence, curated our Tumblr with a selection from the 3.000 fashion-and costume items that it will provide to Europeana Fashion.

Emilio Schuberth evening dress in silk chiffon, designed in 1955-56 ca. Collection Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti, Florence. All rights reserved. Photo: Gabinetto fotografico SBAS, Mauro Carrieri.

The Costume Gallery, located in Florence, in a wing of the Pitti Palace overlooking the Boboli Gardens, has in its collection costumes dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries. This month the Costume Gallery selected some of its amazing pieces to feature a curation in our Tumblr!

The selection features the creation of some of the stylist and designer that contrived italian history of fashion. Remarkable are the “Delphos” tunic designed by the Venetian based designer and artist Mariano Fortuny in 1911, and the gown “Primavera” designed by the italian tailor Rosa Genoni, inspired by the Botticelli painting of the same name.

Not only made of just italian designs, the curation, which ranges in time from the 18th century to the contemporary, includes international designer creations, like those of Vivienne Westwood and Yohji Yamamoto, but also costume pieces like the one worn by Romy Schneider’s Elisabeth in the movie “Ludwig” directed by Luchino Visconti.

Visit our Tumblr to see more of these wonderfully wide curation!

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Winterwear in Europeana Fashion

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nordiska museet girl white fur 1940s europeana fashion gullers

To face these cold winter days, nothing is better than to browse Europeana Fashion to discover how fashion keeps people comfortable in the warmest winter pieces.

Throughout the centuries furs of all types of animals were used to create clothing, not just to keep the wearer warm but also to reflect his or her status. However, since the 1980s-1990s faux furs are an alternative for real furs. Below is a selection of fur pieces from the 20th century, both in actual fur and faux fur. Discover more faux fur in Europeana Fashion or read about the history of fur on Fashion in Time.

madeleine vionnet paris les arts decoratif cape fur 1924 1920s europeana fashion

Madeleine Vionnet, cape in silk and ermine fur, 1924. Collection Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris. All rights reserverd.


nordiska museet girl white fur 1940s europeana fashion gullers

Girl in white fur. Christmas celebration with family Lidén ,1943. Photo: Gullers, K. W. Collection Stiftelsen Nordiska museet CC-BY-NC-ND


bruce oldfield fur  mink coat dress europeana fashion victoria and albert museum

Silk velvet double-breasted coat-dress with mink collar, designed by Bruce Oldfield, Great Britain, 1986. Collection Victoria and Albert Museum, London. CC-BY-NC


paco rabanne 1980s 1998s les arts decoratifs paris europeana fashion

Ensemble in faux fur designed by Paco Rabanne, 1988. Collection Les Arts Décoratifs. All rights reserved.

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Christmas Postcards from Europeana Fashion!

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Postcard dated 1910/1920, London, Great Britain, Collection ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen. All rights reserved.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas day with these two Christmas Cards from our Europeana Fashion collection!

In the collection of MoMu – Fashion Museum Province of Antwerp, there are these two Christmas cards sent from Great Britain. It is still possible to read the wishes written on their back! We use those to wish you a Merry Christmas… from 1910!

Postcard dated 1910/1920, London, Great Britain, Collection ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen. All rights reserved.

Back of the postcards with Christmas wishes.

Postcard dated 1910/1920, London, Great Britain, Collection ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen. All rights reserved.

Back of the postcards with Christmas wishes.

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Yves Saint Laurent’s Berber Cloak at Museo del Traje Madrid

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yves saint laurent ysl brown clock morroco europeana fashion museo del traje madrid

One of the collection highlights of Madrid’s Museo del Traje is a dark brown woolen cloak. At first glance, its semi circular cut and peaked hood with fringed tassel could be of a study selection of ethnographic dress. However, upon closer inspection, it turns out that this garment was created in the shadow of the Eiffel tower, by none other than Yves Saint Laurent. This garment is definitely a result of Yves Saint Laurent’s fascination with Morocco.

yves saint laurent ysl brown clock morroco europeana fashion museo del traje madrid

Yves Saint Laurent Berber Cloak. Collection Museo del Traje. CER.ES: Red Digital de Colecciones de museos de España. All rights reserved.

Arriving in the North African country in the late 1960s, Yves Saint Laurent and partner Pierre Bergé enjoyed its rich culture, oriental mystique and comparatively liberal mindsets. Morocco during the 60s and 70s welcomed a cast of glamorous explorers. Ghettys, Agnellis and Rothschilds refurbished traditional mansions into the glittering meeting point of a jet setting society. Together with his childhood in Algeria, Yves Saint Laurent’s stay in Morocco and experience with Maghreb culture would heavily influence his designs.

After a short stay at famous Marrakech hotel La Mamounia, Saint Laurent and Bergé purchased their first own Moroccan property in 1967. Located in the historic medina of Marrakech, ‘dar el Hanch’ – the House of the Serpent- offered ample space for the pair’s growing collection of traditional Berber art.

Seven years later, the pair chose interior designer Bill Willis to turn ‘dar es Saada’, a house bordering the tranquil garden of painter Jacques Majorelle, into their new home. His combination of influences is similar to Yves Saint Laurent’s interpretation of far flung cultures for the Parisian catwalks.

After Bergé’ and Saint Laurent moved into Majorelle’s former studio, interior designer Jacqueline Froissac  updated the house to accommodate the designer’s guests. The rooms were decorated in an Orientalist style with dark woodcarvings, stencils and tapestries in ornate gold tones opposed to 1930s furniture. Other rooms use colours found in Matisse’s modern masterpieces.

Throughout their changes of homes, Bergé and Saint Laurent invested in traditional Berber art and this together with his North-African surroundings has strongly influenced Yves Saint Laurent’s signature, exemplified by this cape in the Museo del Traje collection. The fringes adorning this Yves Saint Laurent cape, preserved at Museo del Traje, are a typical emblem of Morocco.

Cloaks and capes can be traced throughout Yves Saint Laurent’s collections, acting as a canvas to different inspirations. The Moroccan cloak, of which there exist other examples offers a glimpse inside the Maghreb culture that surrounded Yves Saint Laurent throughout his life, from his childhood in Algeria to his adult life in Marrakech and Paris.

Contribution: Felix Bischof

Further reading:
Hazel Lubbock, ‘Yves Saint Laurent’s Moroccoan Legacy’ Condé Nast Traveller
‘Moroccan Interiors…Bill Willis Style’ on Eye for Design
La Zahia: Villa Oasis’ on The Art of the Room

Pierre Berge, ‘Yves Saint Laurent: A Moroccan Passion’ , Publisher: Abrams (2014)
Laurence Benaim, ‘Yves Saint Laurent’, Publisher: Librarie Generale Francaise (2010)
Hamish Bowles, ‘Yves Saint Laurent: Style’, Publisher: Harry N Abrams (2008)

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Fashion Illustrations for Everyone

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For the past two-and-half years, over twenty fashion museums and private institutions have been working on the Europeana Fashion project.Together, they are making their collections available online right here at Europeana Fashion.One special challenge when bringing all those collections together in one place is making them searchable and findable for everyone. After all, not all museums write information about their collection in the same language.

CC-BY-SA MoMu – ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen / Monica Ho

Therefore, all partners in the project worked  together to make a fashion thesaurus in 11 languages. This thesaurus works in Europeana Fashion and automatically translates the keywords of the user. So if you type “skirt”, you automatically search for “rok” in Dutch, “falda” in Spanish and so on.

However, Europeana Fashion wanted to take the thesaurus one step further and make a drawing of as many concepts in the thesaurus as possible . If you could search by selecting a picture of a skirt, it would not matter which language you spoke, because anyone can recognise a skirt!

europeana fashion momu thesaurus gabrielle de pooter

CC-BY-SA MoMu – ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen / Monica Ho

Two partners in Europeana Fashion worked on making this happen. The Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels and MoMu – Fashion Museum Province of Antwerp asked Hungarian fashion student David Ring from the Antwerp Fashion Department to make these drawings.

The drawings turned so beautiful that Europeana Fashion did not want to keep them just for the website. We wanted everyone to  be able to enjoy and re-use these drawings. Therefore, the project is working together with Wikimedia on making more than 350 of these drawings available on Wikimedia Commons under a Public Domain license, so anyone is free to use and edit the drawings.

View the drawings on Wikimedia Commons

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The all new Europeana Fashion

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europeana fashion theme new fashion illustration

Europeana Fashion has a new look! We are still presenting the fashion-and costume collections from European museums and institutions (over 540.000 items by now!), but you can now explore the collections in a completely new way. Let us fill you in on what is new.

europeana fashion theme new fashion illustration

The first new feature is the theme section on top. You can discover items from the collections curated around a specific topic, such as prints or fashion illustration. The themes will be regularly refreshed, but you can still browse all previous themes via the theme menu on top. Immediately below the theme section, you can browse even more items gathered around more generic topics, such as sketches or couture.

The Europeana Fashion Tumblr is also part of the new website. For nearly two years, museums and brands around Europe have used our Tumblr as a platform to showcase content that has never been published online before. You can now see the latest posts on Tumblr directly on the website.

Searching the collections in Europeana Fashion has also been altered. Items are now presented in a visual way, similar to Pinterest or Tumblr, letting your browse items more intuitively. However, when hovering over an image you can see a description of the item. You can still rely on the trustworthy information provided by the museum or institution hosting the item.

At Europeana Fashion, we continue to make improvements to make discovering Europe’s best fashion-and costume collections an even better experience every time you visit. Do let us know your thoughts via or #eurfashion.However, when the right balance is found, big data may prove to be an invaluable resource both for teachers and students throughout the learning process