Have you ever seen a historical movie, like Marie Antoinette or Titanic or even Gone with the Wind , and drooled all over the dresses the women in it were wearing? If so, you have to visit the exhibition “Living Fashion. Women’s daily wear 1750-1950”, on display in the Antwerp Museum of Fashion (MOMU) till April 12.
“Living Fashion” presents over 100 silhouettes from the Dutch collector Jacoba de Jonge and gives an overview of the clothing worn by middle-class women between 1750 and 1950. In the 19th century, the growing social importance of the middle classes brought with it a new group of wealthy citizens who wanted to show off their status through their clothing and behavior. To illustrate this relationship between living in that time period and fashion, the exhibition shows specific sets of dresses: from domestic apparel to traveling outfits to maternity dresses, or dresses for sports and shopping. Every activity required specific apparel. In addition to the clothes these early fashionistas wore, daily organization also followed fashion trends. Mornings were for indoor activities, the afternoons for visits and ‘outdoor activities’, and each moment of the day had its own particular dress code.
Seeing all those dresses and keeping in mind how many times women changed clothes in one day, I returned home with the comforting thought that my (very full) closet is actually not that big in comparison. Time to go shopping?
A big thank you to Merrymaker Ruth for joining me in my fashionable time travel.