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The Dress Makes the Man, Haute Couture – A New Era

Start Date 13 October 2023
End Date 11 February 2024
Venue Liljevalchs+
Location Stockholm, Sweden
Curator Susanna Strömquist
Designer Robin Grann
Three rows of dresses are displayed in a gallery.

The exhibition The Dress Makes the Man, Haute Couture – A New Era provides a unique glimpse behind the scenes of a long-standing fashion genre undergoing radical change.

Fredrik Robertsson is one of very few men who custom orders hand-sewn creations from Parisian haute couture houses. The exhibition showcases some 40 of his most spectacular garments from leading fashion houses including Alexis Mabille, Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda, Jean Paul Gaultier, Iris van Herpen, Stéphane Rolland, Schiaparelli, Valentino,
Viktor & Rolf and Vivienne Westwood, as well as from experimental designers such as Casey Curran, Richard Quinn and Robert Wun.

Since the mid 19th century, the haute couture houses of Paris have been creating high-end, hand-sewn fashion – exclusively for women. Today, a transformation of this traditional art genre is underway. A new generation of designers have taken over as artistic directors and a new category of expressive clients have discovered the highest level of fashion.

Fredrik Robertsson is one of the leading figures in the new wave of haute couture clients. Since investing in his first creation just under ten years ago, he has amassed an outstanding collection of meticulously selected garments – originally designed for women – which have been tailored to his body. With his eye-catching, gender-fluid style he has become a style
role model and a muse on the international fashion scene, at a time when the boundary between female and male has been blurred and feminine-coded garments such as the dress and the skirt have entered the male wardrobe.

“I have always felt limited by traditional menswear. I love extravagance and decadence – volume, colours, shapes, the avant-garde – creations that are not created for us men in the same way as for women. What drives me to commission haute couture is that I get the opportunity to experience the most beautiful fashion in the world and to realise my fashion dreams with the very best in the industry,” Fredrik Robertsson explains.

Fredrik Robertsson’s aesthetic choices and a large number of photographs by Ea Czyz documenting Robertsson’s visits to Paris over the years give us a unique insight into a new era for the mythical world of haute couture. From the front row and backstage at the fashion shows, to the taking of measurements in the fitting room and the sewing studios where the extravagant garments take shape.

“Today, traditional Parisian haute couture has developed into fashion’s most experimental and artistic form of expression. A kind of creative free zone not subject to the industrial and commercial constraints of massproduced fashion. Fredrik Robertsson’s wardrobe opens the door to an inspiring world where hand-sewn masterpieces take form in an intimate collaboration between the fashion house and the client,” says exhibition curator Susanna Strömquist.

Curated by fashion journalist Susanna Strömquist in collaboration with Fredrik Robertsson for Liljevalchs, the exhibition will be the first to be displayed in all of the galleries of Liljevalchs+.