23 Feb 2010

Power of Fashion - 300 years of clothing

Today I got the privilege to see the new exhibition at Nordiska Museet here in Stockholm. The exhibition is the museum's new, permanent installation of historical fashion.

I have longed to see it for quite some time now, and was very excited now when the big day had arrived!

I had understood that the exhibition was arranged so that rather than being a time-line of fashion, it would more or less pin-point three decades of fashion - the 1780's, the 1860's and the 1960's.

This disappointed me a little (no high-waisted era?!?) but bits and pieces of other eras were included after all, so I decided to only enjoy myself, and to love what I saw!

I really liked that they included clothing of the common people as well as the fashionable since it's not very documented, it added some depth.

But enough talking - we want pictures, don't we? I'm afraid you have to accept them as they are; it's not easy to snap pictures through glass, especially not when there's a pesky blue light that's reflected in the glass on all the display cases along one certain wall!

But here we go!

Stays! One pair of child's stays and another pair for a woman.

By pressing my face to the glass, I managed to study the stitches for the channels more closely, and suddenly I don't feel so bad about my own stitching any more! You may be able to see the stitches on the child's stays pretty well if you enlarge the photo, but the other pair didn't have the smallest, tightest stitches either!

The stitches on these pocket hoops are terrible! Yay for lazy seamstresses from all ages!

A lonely stomacher! Where did it's gown go?

A well-off farmer with his pipe.

A servant girl in rural clothing.

A dozed-off Scanian peasant woman in her finest bling (see Anna's comment for some interesting bits)!

This mannequin depicted a country clergyman's wife, who set the fashion example in rural areas.

Buttons, buttons... With miniature paintings!

A quilted garment, probably imported from France. Some assembly required.

This gown was lovely in salmon pink. When you watched closely, the silk really resembled what we refer to as silk dupioni! A smooth one, but nevertheless.

The man's suit in patterned velvet was fun to see, because I've only seen it in a B-W photo until now.

People of the common classes in the late 18th century, dancing away...

It was hard to get a good picture of this lovely gown...

...and even harder still to get good pictures of this gentleman. He's wearing the National Habit, or Swedish Habit.
I love how this jacket has an asymmetrical, wrap-style closing! And the fabric!


This was by no means a huge exhibition, but I only showed the 18th century stuff now. I has moar pictures.

By the way, I have not forgotten about the give-away; there just hasn't been much time for working on it! When I can show some proof, the winner will be announced (but I don't know who it is yet myself!)


  1. Hey! The exhibition looks AMAZING! How fun!

    Speaking of pictures..did you get the ones I sent you???

    Take Care!! :)

  2. Tack för att du postat så fina kort!

    Jag ska nog besöka denna utställning, när jag kommer till Stockholm nästa gång. Alltså till våren eller sommaren. Nu är det knappast någon mening att åka, dels för kallt och dels en massa krångel med trafiken.

    Den randiga stomachern tycker jag mycket om. Den vita korsetten också, den ser ut att ha ett så fint och diskret blommönster. Får mig att tänka på bröllop av någon anledning (fast att bröllopskläder förr inte nödvändigtvis var vita.)

    Däremot verkar "the dozed-off Scanian peasant woman" ha klätt på sig allt bling bling hon hade hemma, kanske för att inga tjuvar skulle komma och norpa det medan hon var på dans. Dumt att bli onykter och sätta sig att sova bara. Kanske jobbigt att dansa i också... Annars var henens kläder trevliga, synd bara att de nästan inte syns under all grannlåt.

    Vidare tycker jag mig skönja vissa (om än små) likheter mellan Svenska nationella allmänna dräkten (damroben alltså) och den randigt gula klänningen. Lite kort kjol på roben och den saknar puffärmarna, men en smula lik ändå. (Jämför med denna http://www.primusweb.se/BigImageContent.do?imageIndex=0&owner=S-NM&identifier=NMA.0054239&producer=&type=Photograph gavyr från Nordiska Museet.) Hennes man tar sig också stiligt ut. *Stryka på hans mantel.*

    Sista men inte minst, koftan. Vilket härligt tyg den är sydd av!

  3. Åh, jag måste ta mig iväg på den utställningen när jag har råd. Jag var med och tävlade om biljetter (och en symaskin) på deras hemsida men jag har inga jätteförhoppningar :)

  4. Ooh - lovelies! Thanks a lot for posting these pictures - it's really nice to see something not from one of the usual books or websites.

    And huzzah for lazy stitching!!! :D

  5. Yay, you can see the shoes the man is wearing with his national suit! Guess were those shoes comes from?? :-)

    About the lazy woman - she´s dressed up for her wedding. It took so many hours to get dressed the right way so she had to start the day before the wedding (with a lot of help fram another woman), and then, to not ruin her outfit, she had to sleep sitting...

    I really like the clothes the country clergyman's wife is wearing, and her child. Looking forward to see this exhibition!

  6. Abby: You've got mail! :P

    Lady A: Stanna hemma tills våren! Ingenting fungerar i den här stan just nu...

    Och du har en utmärkt blick: Det stod mycket riktigt på museiskylten att adelskvinnans dräkt var en slags avart av Svenska Dräkten!

    Quintefoil: Romour has it that a website dedicated to this exhibition will be launched next week, then you'll see professional photos of the costumes too! I'll let you know!

    Anna: Not from Din Sko, right? :P Great job on them!

    I guessed she was supposed to be a bride. In a book I have, a non-Scandinavian traveller in the 18th century gives his account on seeing such a bride in full gear and it's hilarious! You can't say he's overly impressed... :D

  7. You are so lucky! Thank you so much for posting all these great images, because I do not know when I will get there!

  8. Thank you for sharing pictures from this lovely exhibition. There is a new book by Amanda Vickery and John Styles called (I think), the Dress of the People. It discusses primarily common dress, and you are exactly right, that few examples have survived since textiles are by nature so fragile. It is a cultural history. Anyway, you might enjoy the book, it has some good plates. I like your blog!

  9. Oh what I wouldn't do to have seen such a lovely display. Thanks so much for sharing it. I love the look of a corset, but hate even a modern bra when it is too tight. How did they ever manage all day wearing one of those??


  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you! So much swoon worthy and drool worthy inspiration! I want to get sewing right away!

  11. there's a website where there's more photos of the costumes. http://modemakt.se/modemakts-modedatabas.html

  12. I have been there as well. It was great !