Whilst in Paris I visited the Palais Galliera to see the 'Anatomy of a Collection' exhibition. The exhibit was focused around how a fashion exhibition is curated using garments from the galleries archive collections. It was a good opportunity to see a range of garments from 1700's to present day from different designers and what had changed with regards to detail, materials, shape and textile application. A quote from the exhibition reading started "clothes are artefacts that seem to incorporate something of the essence of the person to whom they once belonged" and talked about clothes becoming relics or souvenirs. This idea ties in with my research into sustainability and how instilling emotion into fashion can contribute to the idea of wasting less.

Some of the techniques I saw from the early 1800's inlcuded fine needlework, cut-away lace detailing and the colour blue also being used a lot. There were garments using white on white embroidery, rows of feathers attached to garments or lots of stitch filled in leaving the base fabric to act as an outline for the designs.

Moving into the 1900's there were more cut out lace details, gathering, paisley gold work, feathers used as a 3D fringe and appliqué. An Elsa Schiaparelli coat particularly caught my eye which had black florals and leaves embellished onto a purple background which were then appliquéd onto a black coat creating almost shaded layers. A similar use of layering was used in a Christian Dior outfit that had 2 shades of black layered on top of one another creating a 3D look.

There was a small section of stage costume pieces with interesting reading about how like today with film the theatre and stage performers were the trendsetters and launches of fashion. The garments were more extravagant with layered goldwork ropes and heavy materials.

Finally it talked about how with couture a person is the embodiment of their creation and how a design is created for that person to wear. They had the beaded bra top from Prada's 2014 collection which used long bugle beads and 3D sequins all over. I also made a note of some of the fabrics from the latest collection pieces which included crepe jersey, viscose, tulle and cotton to help with my fabric research.

The exhibition was a good chance to see a range of ideas in one place and gave me inspiration to take forward into my own development work. The link below takes you to the exhibition page:



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