Fashion @ Van Loon

This spring, Museum Van Loon will highlight the European fashion trends of the Van Loon family from around 1850 to the present. Portraits, photographs, authentic dresses and suits, accessories and documents will be on show, presenting a fine image of the personal fashion style of the Van Loon family. At the core of the exhibition are the museum’s grand full-length portraits. Fashion at Van Loon will be integrated in the general collection of the museum, giving visitors the unique possibility to enjoy the full-length portraits together with the fashion ensembles in the historic interior of the house.

The exhibition is from the 3rd of March until the 30th of May 2016 at the Museum Van Loon in the center of Amsterdam.

Studio Nadar, Thora Van Loon – Egidius, photograph, c. 1900 (reworked)
Louise Borski
In 1854 Hendrik van Loon married Louise Borski, a rich heiress and the daughter of a successful banker. All at once, the Van Loon Family was not only one of the most important families in Amsterdam, but also one of the wealthiest. The Van Loon family played a leading role in Amsterdam society: the women especially were trend-setters of fashion.

To see and be seen
In the life of the rich and famous, the season of events where they would meet, see and be seen was extremely important. High society ladies carefully selected their outfits for each special occasion, complete with matching accessories. The Van Loon family had high standards and an internationally oriented sense of fashion. Research into the family documents show that the family Van Loon was a frequent customer at well-known fashion houses in Paris, London and Amsterdam, such as Maison Paquin, Redfern, Maison Rouff and Maison Hirsch & Cie. How was the contact between the fashion houses and their customers? How big a part did personal style and taste play in their selection of clothing?

A European Sense of Fashion
The exhibition and the accompanying publication present an image of the Van Loon family’s European sense of fashion, from the second half of the 19th century until the present, through portraits, photographs, documents, clothing and accessories. Much of the clothing and many accessories that were depicted in portraits have remained for posterity. The imposing state portrait of Louise van Loon – Borski by the French society painter Alexandre Cabanel of 1887, can be seen next to the dress she was painted in, which is attributed to the famous designer Charles Frederick Worth. The beautiful pink gown of Thora Van Loon –Egidus, who is portrayed as a true high society lady in the monumental portrait by the Austrian Adolf Pirsch in 1909, has regrettably been lost. Erwin Olaf’s photograph of Martine van Loon – Labouchere at her retirement as Mistress of the Robes of H.M. the King in 2014, shows Mrs. Van Loon in a dress by the famous Dutch fashion designer Frans Molenaar, which will be on view at the exhibition.

Museum Pieces
Several Van Loon family members donated their most extraordinary gowns to museums during their own life time. In 1923 Thora Van Loon made a gift to the Rijksmuseum of the ball gown she wore to the wedding of Queen Wilhelmina in 1901. Amazingly, Thora wrote extensively about this dress in her diary. Another museum piece is Yvonne van Loon’s Dior evening gown, which she donated to the Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag in 1958.

Accessories of extremely fine quality will also be exhibited, such as fans, gloves and corsages, as well as fascinating documents, such as Thora van Loon diary of 1898 – 1903, and a 1919 invoice of the famous fashion designer Redfern, listing the highly-priced purchases of Antoinette Van Loon.

For more information and opening hours visit the website of the museum

Source: Museum Van Loon

Fashion @ Van Loon Fashion @ Van Loon Reviewed by Patricia Munster on 11:35:00 AM Rating: 5

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