Back Side / Fashion from Behind (Touring)
The Palais Galliera presents Back Side – Fashion from Behind, an off-site exhibition at the Musée Bourdelle which focuses on clothing seen from behind. In a society that is obsessed with people’s faces, Back Side – Fashion from Behind is an original and unexpected theme. By addressing our body’s relationship to clothing from a social and psychological point of view, the exhibition questions the perception we have of our own and other people’s backs.
The back is a reminder of our limitations: it is hidden from view and to some extent from touch. Yet, fashion consistently decorates it, burdens it, or reveals it. On this flattest part of our body, messages and patterns are unambiguously displayed without our ever seeing the glances they attract.
The back in fashion: from the majestic train of a court gown to the weight of a backpack; the sensuality of a plunging backline to complicated fastening systems. This exceptional exhibition of clothing and accessories from the collections of the Palais Galliera presents over a hundred items from the 18th century up to the present day. And to complete the exhibition, a selection of film extracts and photographs.
The exhibition spreads across the Great Hall of Plasters, the contemporary Portzamparc extension and Antoine Bourdelle’s studio. The models on display establish a dialogue between fashion and sculpture, a dialogue with the works of this great master of the turn of the 20th century.
Back Side – Fashion from Behind gives us a new take on the works of Bourdelle: we look with new eyes at the powerful, muscular backs and the slender outlines of his sculptures.
Image courtesy of Palais Galliera © Paris Musées Pierre Antoine