This week I was in Paris for a manufacturing trade fair. Compared to a designer trade fair, the communication of fashion is kept to technical terms; CMT, minimum orders, FOB prices, lead times. While some manufacturers have an identity, brands come here to find a manufacturer that would produce their products to specifications at the best 'value' they deem fit. Here, fashion is demystified but production is not necessarily clearly alluded to unless the company prides itself on ethics and sustainability and to trade with the EU factories have to go through a process of safety certification.
I had some time to pop into a fashion exhibition at the Palais Galliera. The premise of the exhibition is that it focused not on a theme, or a chronology (although it was arranged in a rough chronology), but on the biography of the objects--who wore them, when, where. All objects were from their own collection and had 5 different segments.
I was looking for ideas on how mended and altered garments were displayed in museums. The mended garments in this exhibition consisted of: children's clothing and workwear. The children's wear, belonging to aristocratic children and even Napoleon, would probably have been mended by their carers. It is done out of utility, and somehow it is acceptable for children, even expected, to wear and tear their garments. The second category was work-wear. As can be seen by the photograph above, they were displayed flat on the wall against a grey backdrop. Facing fashionable dress, displayed on fashionable stockman and fibreglass mannequins, they reminded me of how ethnic and folk dress/textiles are traditionally displayed in museums.
Aas Dujardin-Edwards (2016) articulates
"... this display manifests how fashion archives defy time by remaining after the death of their owners yet it also reminds us how much these patrimonial pieces bring life and death together by delivering so many evidences of humanity with trivial perspiration traces or stains but also by enhancing the absence of the living body."
Dujardin-Edwards, H.-J. (2016) Parisian insights: Anatomy of a collection. Available at: http://www.wornthrough.com/2016/09/parisian-insights-anatomy-of-a-collection/ (Accessed: 14 September 2016).