"Model Clothing" on Exhibition at Marseille's Mucem
Fashion has been doing some soul-searching these past few years. Garments, ethics, and humanity are once again becoming central to the creative process, and greater focus is being placed on durability and timelessness. Reflecting on this new state of affairs, Mucem's "Model Clothing" exhibit brings visitors back with five special pieces that have withstood the tests of time and trends.
With the blossoming of eco-friendly fashion, the industry may appear to be entering a new era — but not so fast! When we stop to think about it, we remember how our ancestor's wardrobes were always based on quality and longevity. With the popularity of fast fashion, the industry nearly fell into the trap of accelerated production cycles, producing evermore products in increasingly limited time frames. As a counterpoint to this frenetic rhythm and the impermanence it amplifies, the Mucem is showcasing the history of five iconic pieces that are shifting how we think about contemporary obsolescence.
From tank tops and tracksuits to worker's dungarees, kilts, and espadrilles, "Model Clothing" illustrates closet classics that highlight authentic style rather than on trendiness. Spanning centuries, these articles also tell the story of society's evolution through its objects and customs. Tracksuits, originally popular with athletes, are now icons of urban culture and have flooded both fashion and the collective imagination since the 1980s. Espadrilles, originally designed for very specific regions, are now sold virtually everywhere. And of course, who could forget worker's dungarees, especially the traditional French bleu de travail, now a classic vintage basic.
Through a selection of 200 pieces, the exhibit pays tribute to ancestral and artisanal knowledge, accompanied here by drawings, photographs, films, clips, and other archives. Gathered in the same space, they're proof of clothing's place in our heritage and even our inner lives — every bit as evocative as Proust's famous madeleine.
The "Model Clothing" exhibition will be held at the Mucem (fort Saint-Jean, Georges Henri Rivière building) in Marseille, until December 6, 2020.