The exhibit at the Pitti Palace was fascinating to see and learn about. Most fashion and costume exhibits I have been to are organised by designer. It was interesting to see fashion grouped by owner or donator, much like many art museums group art collections. Displaying the items in such a way communicates the view that fashion is indeed art.
My favourite part of the exhibit was seeing the remains of Eleonora di Toledo’s dress. It was fascinating to witness such a rare piece of Italian history, and nothing speaks to culture and history quite like fashion. We learned about the mistake Eleonora’s lady in waiting made on the very morning of her death. This simple mistake of dressing Eleonora with one stocking inside out played a large role in helping us understand the stitches and how the stockings were made. I also found it amazing that she attempted to reject the invention of mechanical knitwear because she was sensitive to its repercussions among women who earned money from knitting by hand.
Another part of the exhibit I found interesting was the collection involving Paul Poiret. The fact that he was one of the first to do international fashion shows and a fragrance connected to his brand is inspiring. I admire his creativity and savvy business mindset that caused many many others to follow his lead.
Overall, I really enjoyed the exhibit and was amazed at the beauty, detail, and care that went into constructing each and every garment. Each piece tells a story about the designer and the wearer, as well as the point in history in which it was made. We can learn so much about history through fashion, and I loved observing a few pieces that were significant to the evolution of today’s fashion industry.