I have recently come across images from the 2010 exhibition ‘Black: Masters of Black in Fashion and Costume,’ at MoMu (Mode Museum Antwerp) which ran from March 25 to August 8, 2010 curated by Wim Mertens, Karen Van Godtsenhoven and Kaat Debo.
I absolutely love the look of this exhibition I like how it explored the use of the colour black within fashion and historical costumes and showcased a selection on designs from some contemporary designers such as Van Herpen, Comme Des Garcon, Ann Demeulemeester, Raf Simons and Gareth Pugh among others.
I enjoyed the spectacle from the images, by juxtaposing fashion design and costumes garments alongside period works of art: such as Viktor and Rolf next to Van Dyck painting from 1637. It shows the correlation between fashion and art, also how fashion has similarities, such as the light and shadow created in garment when worn is also seen in painting with the depiction of shadows across the surface, it highlights how black is not just a singular colour but has many different shades.
The garments were all displayed on black headless mannequins adding to the spectacle of the exhibition and there was no use of labels, instead guests followed their own path around the exhibition in which they were visually stimulated to first, the explanatory text was within the exhibition catalogue which created increased user interaction.
I feel that the exhibition aids to and strengthen the argument of fashion being seen and recognised as work of art by garments being displayed side by side to historical paintings.
How can a Alexander McQueen machine lace dress from his S/S 2007 collection situated next to a historical taffeta cape from 1890-1910 not both be deemed as works of art that is the question.