Fashion from Behind
Fashion and Lace Museum, Brussels
– 31 March 2019
Even though most garments are designed with a front view in mind, there are still some designs that focus on sophisticated backs, a combination of front and back or treat the back in a different way as a decorative surface. In collaboration with the Palais Galliera in Paris, the Fashion and Lace Museum in Brussels is showcasing such variations from the fashion world since the 18th century.
A deep neckline, perhaps as a waterfall, crossed straps, a train or a simple flourish, are just some of the options available in fashion design: the back of an article of clothing can have a decorative function, be a means of demonstrating power, a measure of comfort or a means of communication. However, we can only see the backs of other people, not our own. The exhibition “Back Side. Fashion from Behind” uses its exhibits to trace the historical development of clothing this part of the body and places it in a genesis context. Objects from well-known fashion houses such as Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier and Martin Margiela are all included in the exhibition. According to the curator, the highlight of the show is a unique, very well preserved, evening dress by Chanel from 1930, covered with golden sequins, which divides the upper back into long triangles with equally golden straps.