Fashioning Fashion at the Museum of Decorative Arts Paris

If you love clothing or films such as Marie-Antoinette or Anna Karenina made you whish you could time travel, then this exhibition was made for you!


The exhibition offers visitors an inside view in the fast changing world of fashion and its history., playing with light, mirrors and curved walls. The collection of 17th and 20th century fashion was first exhibited in Los Angeles in 2009 before coming to Berlin last year; finally, in December 2012, the collection made it to Paris. Hosted at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the collection displays approximately 100 women’s and men’s wear pieces arranged in aesthetic harmony and coherence. Most of the garments originate from France, Italy and England with some exceptions from the Netherlands or Poland,  showcasing the transformation of fashion.

The exhibitions opens with fashion from the 18th century and showcasing the trade influences between the east and the west and the strong love for embroidery. Chinese and Indian trade relations can be seen to have had a strong impact on the creations and fabrics of the time. Contrasting the dominant French fashion is the relatively tame English fashion. The collection also shows the creation of the Empire style or the invention of the corset.

The 19th century displays a variety of silhouettes in coherence with the changes of the female body while the men’s wear stayed relatively constant. The collection highlights the corset and s shape with the 20th century, infusing it with Japanese style.

It can also be seen that key historical political or economic events left their mark on fashion. Thus changes in taste and styling can be seen in the garments post French revolution. One can also see the petiteness of the garments and use their own intuitive knowledge to asses the fit as well as the transformation our bodies have undergone changing fashion with it.


Fashioning Fashion, European Dress in Detail 1700-1915
December 13, 2012 – April 14, 2013

Les Arts Décoratifs, 107, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Phone: +33 (0)1 44 55 57 50

Take also take a look at these awesome behind the scene sneak peaks curtesy of

Images: Curtesy of

Videos: Curtesy of Les Arts Décoratifs


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