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Out of Fashion – Inside the Museum’s Walk-In Closet (Uit de Mode)

Start Date 07 July 2017
End Date 23 October 2017
Venue Centraal Museum
Location Utrecht, Netherlands
A group of historical European dress, worn on tailors' dummies, stand before archival boxes in a storage space.
A deconstructed packing boxes repurposed into a shelter, contains a station of a dress. On top is a mannequin wearing a ballgown.
Dresses standing in a gallery.

In 2017, the Centraal Museum is going big with a new fashion exhibition. For the first time, more than 100 highlights from our own fashion collection are in the spotlights. Visitors are immersed in a world of 18th century robes, generous mutton sleeves and experimental men’s suits of today. Who makes the design and who wears it? How are these special designs preserved and when has a design ‘deceased’? Discover it in the exhibition Out of Fashion.

100 years of collecting: time for a party
In 2017, the Centraal Museum is celebrating 100 years since the first paid fashion curator was hired in Utrecht – a special fact worldwide. Maid Carla de Jonge started her career as archivist of the museum collection, but in a short time she realized a permanent costume display and soon expanded the collection considerably. The focus of the collection policy has changed considerably over the past century: from increasing the historical costume collection to an emphasis on conceptual and contemporary (inter)national fashion.

Fashion in four themes
‘Out of Fashion’ shows the richness and diversity of the collection, but especially that of fashion itself. Current affairs and history are presented in dialogue with each other in a thematic four-part: the maker, the carrier, the restorer and the visionary. In the four large exhibition rooms, one of the perspectives always predominates. ‘Out of Fashion’ considers sources of inspiration from (contemporary) designers, arguments for acquiring a piece of clothing and who has worn what. Highlights are a ‘Live Science Programme’ where live restoration takes place in the room and a changing stage where the public can get acquainted with the newest crop of fashion talents. The first edition is a collaboration with Future Generation of Amsterdam FashionWeek. After that, Liselore Frowijn and Das Leben am Haverkamp will exhibit successively.

Discover the stories behind the icons and the collection
With the Live Science Programme, the Centraal Museum gives a look behind the scenes in the restoration studio. Textile restorers work three days a week in the exhibition on the restoration of various costumes from the fashion collection. Visitors can see up close how an expert works and ask questions. In addition, the Centraal Museum and Modemuze are organizing four ‘Meet ups’ as an in-depth program for the exhibition. Each Meet up zooms in on one of the four themes in the exhibition: the maker, the carrier, the restorer and the visionary. The most beautiful festival outfits are scouted at the Lowlands festival. The winning outfit will be included in the exhibition afterwards.

Meet up #1: creators from fashion
Meet up #2: wearers out of fashion
Meet up #3: fashion visionaries
Meet up #4: Fashion restorers

Mannequin workshop workshop
Most of the garments in the exhibition are presented on a mannequin. Dressing these dolls is called ‘mannequinage’ and is a special and often time-consuming job. In the workshop, visitors are challenged to try this out for themselves. Replicas of various iconic fashion designs have been made in cotton for endless experimentation.

The special designs in the exhibition are a feast for the eyes, but the exhibition design by MAISON the FAUX will also stimulate all the senses. This talented Dutch fashion duo now shows its collections during the New York Fashion Week and Guangzhou Fashion Week. Especially for the exhibition, MAISON the FAUX has created an installation in collaboration with Tenant of Culture in which their pieces are preserved for eternity.

The fashion collection of the Centraal Museum
The Centraal Museum owns a well-balanced fashion collection of approximately 10,000 items of clothing, including accessories. The collection is considered one of the most important for both historical costumes and contemporary fashion in the Netherlands. Famous designers such as Iris van Herpen, Maison Martin Margiela, Vivienne Westwood, Jan Taminiau, Issey Miyake, Viktor&Rolf, Craig Green and Junya Watanabe are represented. Almost every year there is a large, high-profile fashion exhibition.

Quest: H&M Duvet Coat by Maison Martin Margiela
On December 16, 2016, the Centraal Museum started a search for the H&M duvet coat by Maison Martin Margiela from 2011. For the exhibition, the museum was looking for the special duvet coat that Maison Martin Margiela made for H&M in 2011. The coat is inspired by the iconic couture duvet coat by Martin Margiela from 1999. Centraal Museum will present the H&M duvet coat together with the couture design in ‘Out of Fashion’.