Luxury in silk. Fashion in the 18th century

5 July 2018 – 6 January 2019

In 2017, the GNM was able to acquire a remarkable object: a one-piece silk dress from the period around 1760 with a hooped skirt from about the same time. The colours of the silk fabric are extremely well-preserved; the pale blue background with the colourful flower decoration has hardly faded at all – which is extremely rare in textiles from this period. 

But what did one wear back then with a dress of this kind? In the exhibition, splendid jewellery, accessories and “fancies” such as headpieces and collars, fans and gloves, silk stockings and shoes complete the picture of a lady “à la mode”. Contemporary portrayals and excerpts from historical literature also give a deep insight into the enormous skill that went into making such elaborate clothing and accessories.

With around 100 items on display, the exhibition offers a fascinating insight into luxury clothing of the 18th century and also examines various issues within historical textile and clothing research. 

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