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“From Paris to Riga” – a journey of five clothes through centuries and fashion trends / LR3 / / Latvijas Radio 3

Visiting the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design together with the head of the museum Inese Baranovska and exhibitions “Model clothes. Modes arhetipi “kuratori Izabellu Krampu (Isabelle Crampes) from France.

The exhibition “will be on view at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (Riga, Skārņu Street 10) until September 25”Model clothes. Fashion Archetypes “- the most significant cultural project implemented in Latvia in cooperation with the Presidency of the French Republic in the Council of the European Union.

Exhibition “Model clothes. Fashion Archetypes “in collaboration with the Museum of Euro-Mediterranean Civilizations (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations, Le Mucem) Marseille (France) and the French Institute in Latvia. In 2020, it was received with great success in Marseille and is now being offered to the Latvian public in an updated version.

Why have the sleeveless shirt, colloquially known as “mike”, and the blue overalls of French workers become the foundation and inspiration of the fashion industry? How have Scottish brunches, or canvas shoes, espadrilles associated with a particular geographical area spread across the globe and found in almost every wardrobe?

And how did the training pants get into the center of urban culture from the gym, as well as inspire the high-fashion corpse Yves Saint Laurent (Yves Saint Laurent, 1936–2008)?

The exhibition, which sees fashion as a phenomenon of social anthropology, allows us to trace the journey of five clothes through centuries and fashion trends. Without changing its original design, the tank top, canvas shoes, espadrilles, workers’ skirt, tracksuit and Scottish kilt prove sustainability when the concept is reviewed. Clothing, which was originally created to perform certain work functions over the years, preserving materials and technologies, has become an archetype – a model and a basis for further interpretations. Re-introduced and tested, these costumes reflect a social history that has sometimes acquired the status of a symbol appropriated by both political events and social movements.

From ethnographic Scottish folk costume to Vivien Westwood (Vivienne Westwood1941) and fast fashion production. From the factory workshop to the fashion house parade. In the textile-focused exhibition, more than 200 items – both high-fashion icons and ready-made clothing and lingerie – tell the story of fashion as an essential phenomenon of social life in dialogue with drawings, graphics, old magazines, archival photographs and films. At the same time, the exhibition highlights the role of crafts, highlights the issues of cultural heritage preservation, as well as emphasizes the sustainability of design.

The exhibition in Riga is complemented by analogous exhibits and archival documents from local memory institutions, mapping Latvian phenomena in European fashion and society. One of the legendary manuscripts belongs to the artist Gustav Klucis (1895–1938), who is still able to create admiration and enlightenment with his work. The works of the brilliant avant-garde complement the exhibition because, like the world of fashion, they represent a time that was ambiguous, leaving an unforgettable imprint on the history of art and culture.

The exhibition is an interdisciplinary cognitive and educational project that successfully unites several cultural organizations in Latvia and France. Latvian fashion designers (MAREUNROL’S, Agnese Narnicka, etc.) and students of the environmental and fashion art departments of the Latvian Academy of Arts take part in it. In parallel with the exhibition, there will be creative workshops, clothing repair classes, summer schools for the younger generation, discussions on the sustainability of fashion design and the importance of researching historical materials, “Conversations at the Museum”, open tours with exhibition organizers, fashion artists and experts.

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