Turcijas Tradiconālās mākslas izstāde (DOC) by mifei


         Historic fashion clothing and accessories of the 1830s to 1900s
                from the collection of Alexandre Vassiliev (Paris)

The particular exhibition ”Fashion of the Victorian Era”, sponsored by ”Aizkraukles banka”
and on August 15 opened at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, is a unique project
of high artistic and cultural significance. It is for the first time in Latvia that we have the rare
opportunity to showcase authentic collection of women's clothing, which characterizes the
cultural environment and fashion of people living during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-
1901). The display comprises about 50 garments and numerous accessories worn by the
people mapping a vast geographic area: the territories of England, France, Italy, Germany
and Austro-Hungary, moreover it showcases clothing of different styles, beginning with
Romanticism up to Art Nouveau. The display also comprises more than 100 accessories
including fans, parasols and umbrellas, hats, jewellery, purses, vests, corsets, lorgnettes
and numerous other kinds of fashion articles which we have discarded from our daily usage
times ago dooming them to complete oblivion.
The visitors can admire such rarities as stocking bands, dance cards, hair combs, purses and
cigarette cases. Haute Couture clothing manufactured by the most prominent fashion
houses such as Parisian Worth (founded in 1857) and Doucet and Paquin also are on show.
Of special interest are the ball gowns and taffeta crinolines characterising the period from
1850 to 1860, tournure gowns for leisurely strolls in parks and ball gowns with trains.
The last decade of the 19th century witnessed the victorious advent of Art Nouveau, which
was greatly influenced by the artistic movement of japonisme. Fabrics dyed in bright and
intense aniline colours gave way to those of soft pastel shades and transparent light
colours. Fashionable gowns were decorated with floral prints, especially favouring the
design of irises, poppies and hortensias. This trend was consequently in fashion also in
other fields of decorative arts of the 1890s to 1900s and can be identified through such
fashionable accessories as fans, embroideries and jewellery.
The exhibition is supplemented with large size vintage photo copies, also oil paintings and
watercolours - predominantly portraits of the 2nd half of the 19th century, selected by
Alexandre Vassiliev from his vast fashion collection of the 1850s to 1900s. Being in
background, they altogether create a very special atmosphere dealing with life and fashion
of the time.
Alexandre Vassiliev's collection, which is extremely rich in all kinds of fashion articles, is
located in Paris and it took him 30 years to assemble it. In the course of these years it has
travelled extensively and has been exhibited in many countries of the world. Prior to Riga
the exhibitions have been held in Paris, London, Brussels, Istanbul, Moscow, Sidney,
Honking, Tokyo and Santiago, and as a rule the venues are the museums of decorative art
and fashion, as well as the museums of Art Institutes. Alexandre Vassiliev's collection
counts about 10 000 fashion garments and accessories beginning with the 18th century up
to the 21st century. The collection is constantly being supplemented with new donations
and acquisitions from auctions and antique shops.
The general sponsor of the exhibition is “Aizkraukles banka”. The exhibition is supported
also by the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, the fashion designer Tatyana Pavlova,
the firm ”Redrose” and the Culture Department of the Riga City Municipality.

Information sponsors - magazine “Lilit”, LILIT, ĻUBĻU, PASTAIGA; www.vietas.lv

Alexandre Vassiliev extends special thanks to Olga Fyodorova, Alla Obolevich, Zanna
Dubska, Christophe Dubois-Rubio and the museum for their support in the implementation
of the particular project in Riga.

                                                 Alexandre Vassiliev – www.vassiliev.com

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