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Model Clothing

Start Date 29 June 2020
End Date 06 December 2020
Venue Mucem
Location Marseille, France
Curator Isabelle Crampes and Coline Zellal
Designer Renaud Perrin
Graphics Géraldine Fohr

From the tank top to jogging pants and French blue workwear to the kilt and the espadrille, follow the journey of these five pieces across time and fashion trends.

From the tank top to jogging pants and French blue workwear to the kilt and the espadrille, the exhibition “Model clothing” is an invitation to follow the journey of five pieces that have stood the test of time and fashion.

How did the tank top and French blue workwear, designed to dress tradespeople, establish themselves as sources of inspiration and “basics” in the fashion industry? Why did the kilt and the espadrille, associated with specific geographies, spread throughout the world to the point that they have been adopted by everyday wardrobes? What paths did jogging pants take in order to free themselves from a purely sporting use to become one of the emblems of urban culture?
In contrast to the image of a fashion based on the cyclical and the ephemeral, these journeys take place over a period of several centuries. Rich in historical and symbolic depth, these pieces of “model clothing” are at the heart of a vestimentary grammar that prefers style above trend. And at a time when the notion of sustainability is being questioned, they also highlight notions of craftsmanship and a living heritage in their interactions with societies, evoking the preservation and safeguarding issues that accompany them.

Textiles are obviously at the heart of this exhibition, which presents some 200 pieces: ready-to-wear, haute couture, as well as underwear — a selection of materials to be touched … These sets are presented in dialogue with drawings, prints, photographs, films, clips, and archives; in other words, a rich and varied iconography that makes it possible to speak of clothing as a true social phenomenon.