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Haute Couture: Voici Paris

Start Date 20 February 2010
End Date 06 June 2010
Venue Kunstmuseum Den Haag
Location Netherlands
Designer Maarten Spruyt

This major exhibition will showcase the history of haute couture, alongside creations by today’s top couturiers. Renowned fashion houses like Dior, Chanel, Christian Lacroix and Jean Paul Gaultier will lend a number of exclusive couture creations from their latest collections, fresh from the catwalk, and never before seen in the Netherlands. Visitors will be able to admire close by the details that make these garments so unique: the sumptuous fabrics, unparalleled embroidery, the cut. In short: all the skills of Parisian couture.

Contemporary couture is not the only thing the exhibition will highlight, however. The museum galleries will also recount the story of couture, beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century. Visitors will not only have the opportunity to admire exclusive creations by top designers, but also design drawings, accessories, moving images and photographic material. The exhibition will also cover the history of Dutch couture, from the copies of designs from Paris to the great Dutch couturiers like Charles Montaigne (Karel Meuwese), Frans Molenaar, Frank Govers, Fong Leng and rising new star Jan Taminiau.

Gemeentemuseum Den Haag owns one of the largest fashion collections in Europe, in which all the great couture houses are well represented. The original pink Givenchy dress that Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is just one famous item in the collection. It also includes earlier pieces that illustrate the history of couture: Worth, Poiret and Vionnet were forerunners of the famous couturiers who now define the look of Paris’s Avenue Montaigne.

Maarten Spruyt, who previously designed several successful fashion exhibitions for the Gemeentemuseum, including Fashion NL: the next generation (2006), Hague Court Fashions (2007) and The Ideal Man (2008), will be responsible for the art direction. This exhibition  is part of Holland Art Cities.