Femmes Fatales @ Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Who are the femmes fatales in the fashion industry? The Art Museum (Gemeentemuseum) in The Hague has an exhibition on display devoted to female fashion designers, on strong women in fashion, on femmes fatales! For the first time ever!

Women first Fashion second - Femmes Fatales in Gemeentemuseum Den Haag


To me the first name that came up was of Coco Chanel, but also thinking of Elsa Schiaparelli, Diana van Furstenberg, Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham and Maria Katrantzou. Writing these names even more names are coming up, like Sarah Burton and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

When Coco Chanel started to get known in Paris, she was called "that seamstress" by contemporary couturier Paul Poirot. For him it was a way to offend her. Male couturiers presented themselves as fashion gods and felt they were the creative talents and not the female competitors, they were just 'seamstresses'. But the female designers emphasised that only a woman could dress the female body as best as possible and much better than a man.

The gemeentemuseum asked three questions to prepare this exhibition:
  1. Do female designers design differently for women than their male colleagues?
  2. What is the significance of being a woman for their creations?
  3. What is their vision on fashion?
The answer is not simple and it is dangerous to generalize. The museum finds it striking that many female designers work on the hand, heart and head principle.
Hands, because many of them care strongly about the technical design process and shop te material by hand around the female body.
Heart because they work from feelings and attach great importance to mobility, physicality and comfortable fit.
And head because many female designers do use clothes as a medium to express their (social) opinions.

The exhibition starts with dresses from the 18th century until the pink pussy hats found their way from the street to the catwalk with Angela Missoni.

18th century dresses in Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Liberty, equality and femininity in the 18th century

Detail of the embroidery

Vive la revolution!

Detail of embroidery in lace dress


I made clothes for the new woman. She could move and live naturally in my clothes.
Coco Chanel



Elsa Schiaparelli: I feel that clothes have to be architectural, that the body must never be forgotten and it must be used the way a frame is used in a building. She was the first designer to present themed collections, like the 'Circus collection' in 1938. Her creativity ability and conceptual way of thinking made her stand out.

Elsa Schiaparelli - Femmes Fatales in Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Sketch by Elsa Schiaparelli - Femmes Fatales in Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Sketch by Elsa Schiaparelli - Femmes Fatales in Gemeentemuseum Den Haag


"Buy less, choose well, make it last." Vivienne Westwoord said, "I am a fashion designer and activitist. The need to live in harmony with the planet is a matter of life and death." At the moment she fights for a better environment and a more sustainable fashion industry.

Vivienne Westwood - Femmes Fatales in Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

We should all be feminist.
Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior

Maria Grazia Chiuri Femmes Fatales in Gemeentemuseum Den Haag


"I like the idea of women buying clothes and feel proud, satisfied, comfortable and powerful in them. To wear them and get on with their lives. " Phoebe Philo

Sarah Burton: It's about dressing women and how a piece makes them feel. As soon as you put a McQueen jacket on, you stand differently because it has a waist and it has a shoulder and it makes you feel empowered. It's great if you can do that for women.

Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen
Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen

Mary Quant (1967): "Fashion as we knew it, it is over: people wear now exactly what they feel like wearing.

Femmes Fatales in Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Mary Quant - Femmes Fatales in Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Daisy Doll (1973) as alternative for Barbie by Mary Quant
Daisy Doll by Mary Quant - Mini skirts for ever!

Wrap dress by Diane van Furstenberg Femmes Fatales Gemeentemuseum
The revolutionary wrap dress by Diane von Furstenberg

The power of a good coat
The power of a good coat

Black and white
Black and white, never out of style

Shoe

Black and white shoe

Mary Katrantzou
Iris van Herpen, a dutch designer, known for her experiments with new materials and new technology, like 3D printing. She likes to work with specialists in science, architecture, art and biology. She designs the patterns and the patterns for decoration of her garments in a computer program: today's handicraft.
Ludi Naturae by Iris van Herpen
Iris van Herpen

Detail of Ludi Naturae by Iris van Herpen

Ludi Naturae by Iris van Herpen
Iris van Herpen - Ludi Naturae



Pink Pussy Hats - Angela Missoni
Pink Pussy Hats
It was hard to make a selection of the many photos I took during this exhibition. And I made just a selection of the clothes and quotes. I enjoyed visiting the museum and this exhibition.
It is inspiring so I really suggest you will visit it soon too because it is only on display until 24 March 2019. Let me know what you think about it!
For more information visit gemeentemuseum.nl
Femmes Fatales @ Gemeentemuseum Den Haag Femmes Fatales @ Gemeentemuseum Den Haag Reviewed by Patricia Munster on 4:23:00 AM Rating: 5

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