Last week we took a visit to the Pitti Palace and analyzed the costume gallery. It was an eclectic view of the evolution of dress, particularly for women, culminated with a variety of textiles and organized with unique presentations.
Probably the most interesting aspect of this exhibition was it’s eclectic taste and variety of styles. I was surprised to see garments that spanned over several centuries, as well as an overlapping of styles that were used in different decades. Some of the textiles used include sequins, thread woven into fine embroidery, lace, and feathers. I especially appreciated the hat exhibit, which contained styles from the gorgeous to the outrageous. A small portion of the gallery also contained jewelry. I found it interesting that some of the jewelry had a harsher metallic look, giving an unexpected twist to the modern designs.
The last theme of the gallery that stood out to me was the diversity of women’s dress that was affected by female hierarchy. When we looked at some of the older garments from centuries ago, we discovered that women of status were dressed in restricting garments with many pieces, usually made of more valuable fabric. Women of that time with a lower status would wear a similar style, but simplified and more utilitarian depending on the type of work they had to do. In contrast, women of status in a more modern era had the freedom to rebel against the current, form-fitting style of clothing and opt for a more relaxed style or whatever style suited them.
It is needless to say that women played an incredible part in the fashion of the last few centuries, both in the women who designed clothes and the women who wore them. Women continue to evolve the face of fashion to this current day!