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A Glance of Glamour: Western Fashion of the 19th-20th Centuries

Start Date March 2015
End Date May 2015
Venue China National Silk Museum
Location Hangzhou, China
Exhibition display of dressed mannequins
Exhibition display of dressed mannequins

The word “Western” means Europe and North America to Chinese. So western fashion should be considered fashion for European and North American’s. But scholars believe that the origin of western fashion is beyond ancient Greek and Rome, it could be up to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The main part of the globalized fashion nowadays is still western though mixed with different elements from many nations and cultures. Therefore people prefer to use the term “international” instead of using “western”, to be politically correct. The changing process of western fashion into international fashion happened in the last two hundred years.

Since 2011, with the support of Zhejiang Provincial Government and all other relevant departments, CNSM started the route of collecting western costumes and now nearly forty thousand pieces being CNSM’s permanent collection.

Here are to present about two hundred of our best collections. Our purpose of this exhibition is to roughly go through our collection, knowing what we have, and lay the foundation for future display; expressing gratitude to all the departments, organization and person who have been supporting us all along; declaring our collection to the society especially to the whole fashion education, design and industry. Meantime, we would like to form a touring exhibition to all over the country, showing the glamour of our collection.

The 19-20th century is the most important part of the western fashion. We will always be attracted by its glamour.

Image courtesy of China National Silk Museum, Hangzhou