From the 28th of April of this year until the 5th of January 2020, the Museu Tèxtil will be showing “Movie dresses”.
Taking advantage of the fact that the theme of this year’s Modernist Fair is cinema, the museum wanted to provide a view from three spheres: original pieces that are part of the museum’s collection and serve as inspiration for costume designers, creations by costume designers for period productions, and finally clothing made by the participants in the Terrassa Modernist Fair which are inspired by films and TV series.
Cinema is an art, and it is one of the most universal languages in the world. Within the world of clothing, film was a means of disseminating fashion for much of the 20th century. Yet it has also been a touchstone when learning how people dressed in different eras. Costume designers give actors a personality through their clothing, because clothing is one of the tools that each character can use to express themselves. Yet in period films, they also have to be faithful to the fabrics and silhouettes from each era.
For this reason, we wanted to show different designs made by prominent professionals from the world of film, such as Mercè Paloma, Anna Güell and Antonio Belart, which were used for productions set in the early decades of the 20th century, including Vida privada, La dona del segle and La Moños.
One of the main sources that these designers use are real pieces conserved in museums and collections. Thanks to these pieces, we can see the kind of fabrics, decorations and especially shapes that clothing conferred on the body, which varied in each historical period. For this reason, the museum is showing different original clothing for both women and men. In the case of women’s clothing, we can see the evolution of the silhouette from the hourglass shape with floral-patterned fabrics to a more vertical line with geometric prints which herald art deco. These dresses were worn with an entire series of accessories like fans, shoes, gloves or bags, examples of which are also on display in the exhibition.
Museum pieces have also served as the inspiration for many of the participants in the Modernisme courses that the centre holds. Yet some of them have also sought referents in emblematic films like Titanic and Out of Africa and from television series like Downton Abbey. The exhibition includes several examples of clothing made by people who have dressed up in the costumes from these films for the Modernist Fair.
As mentioned above, cinema has been a means of disseminating fashion, yet before it was invented one of the ways used to spread the new trends was fashion plates, such as the ones displayed. In fact, fashion illustration continued during much of the 20th century thanks to the perfection of its details and the fact that colour took a while to catch on in both cinema and photography.
Finally, in an exhibition space you also can see authentic screenings of films from the early 20th century on loan from the Filmoteca de Catalunya. They show fashion shows and reports on accessories and the latest fashions.
We’re looking forward to seeing you here!