Fashion, History, Museums: Inventing the display of dress

Fashion, History, Museums: Inventing the display of dress

by Julia Petrov


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The last decade has seen the growing popularity and visibility of fashion as a cultural product, including its growing presence in museum exhibitions. This book explores the history of fashion displays, highlighting the continuity of past and present curatorial practices. Comparing and contrasting exhibitions from different museums and decades-from the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900 to the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011, and beyond-it makes connections between museum fashion and the wider fashion industry.

By critically analyzing trends in fashion exhibition practice over the 20th and early 21st centuries, Julia Petrov defines and describes the varied representations of historical fashion within British and North American museum exhibitions. Rooted in extensive archival research on exhibitions by global leaders in the field-from the Victoria and Albert and the Bath Fashion Museum to the Brooklyn and the Royal Ontario Museums-the work reveals how fashion exhibitions have been shaped by the values and anxieties associated with fashion more generally.

Supplemented by parallel critical approaches, including museological theory, historiography, body theory, material culture, and visual studies, Fashion History in the Museum demonstrates that in an increasingly corporate and mass-mediated world, fashion exhibitions must be analysed in a comparative and global context. Richly illustrated with 70 images, this book is essential reading for students and scholars of fashion history and museology, as well as curators, conservators, and exhibition designers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781350048997
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 02/07/2019
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 6.39(w) x 9.58(h) x 0.66(d)

About the Author

Julia Petrov is Curator of Western Canadian History at the Royal Alberta Museum, Canada.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vi

List of Plates xi

Acknowledgments xii

Introduction: Fashion as Museum Object 1

1 Foundation Garments: Precedents for Fashion History Exhibitions in Museums 13

2 Window Shopping: Commercial Inspiration for Fashion in the Museum 31

3 The New Objectivity: Social Science Methods for the Display of Dress 63

4 Intervisuality: Displaying Fashion as Art 91

5 Tableaux Vivants: The Influence of Theater 113

6 The Body in the Gallery: Revivifying Historical Fashion 137

7 The Way of All Flesh: Displaying the Historicity of Historical Fashion 167

8 The New Look: Contemporary Trends in Fashion Exhibitions 185

Notes 199

References 206

Index 227

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