The “Canvas & Silk” collection of historic fashion from Madrid’s Museo Del Traje is officially on display at our very own, SMU Meadows Museum. On Sunday, September 19 the doors to the exhibit opened and on Thursday, September 23 I had the pleasure of attending “Art After Dark” and viewing the collection of beautiful paintings as well as pieces of fashion from time periods spanning from the 1700s to the 1990s!
This pieces in this collection were selected to bring together image and artifact in order to “shed new light on the historical function and significance of both”. My personal favorite piece was the crinoline from 1850-58. In my class called “Fashion Media and Culture” we recently learned about them in detail. If you’re unfamiliar, crinolines were used to make underskirts and as a dress lining. The structured petticoat was designed to hold out the woman’s skirt and by the 1850s, the ladies wore it to widen their skirts to give the illusion of a tinier waist.
One section of the exhibit showcased the fashion and formal presentation of what attending court looked like. Now that we live in a society where it is socially acceptable to dress leisurely on the daily, it’s hard to imagine what appearing before royalty must have been like. I can tell you that they most definitely were not wearing Lululemon, but formal floor-length gowns.
In the time period showcased in this portion of the exhibit, chemise dresses were in style, as well as the lace gown (pictured above). The painting above is titled “Favorites of the Court” and is one of the many pieces of art on display in this exhibit that the SMU Meadows Museum has in their collection which happen to tie in perfectly to the thematic display.
I went into this collection with no expectations and still feel like they were exceeded! I don’t want to spoil all the fun for you guys, so go check out the collection for yourself!