I had the amazing experience of being able to visit the Fashion Forward, 3 Centuries of Fashion exhibit while in Paris in 2016. When you need to travel for business, it is always such a pleasure to spend a weekend in amazing places with friends. A very close friend, Emily, was living in Paris at the time and had my agenda planned – which included fabric shopping — see a separate story about our shopping!
Some of these pictures aren’t the best — no flash was allowed. I didn’t take pictures of everything (although it might seem like it), but I was so inspired by the little touches and finishes on garments from hundreds of years ago. Maybe that is why I’ve decided to try to practice my hand stitching again?
Not only are the garments on display amazing, so are the sets for each one of the displays. They took the time to make sure mirrors were perfectly set when you really wanted to see the other side of the garment. This was probably the best fashion exhibit I’ve ever seen. So, now to the pictures I did take!
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Look at the amazing embroidery on both sides of the front around the buttons, and around the pockets and button flap on the pocket, as well as the sleeves.
This is an amazing dress, with fabric beautifully draped on the back. I loved the sleeves that are tucked up in the front, with the lovely ruffle peeking out. Also, check out the beautiful self fabric edging around the neck. This is one of the displays that had a mirror to be able to see both sides of the dress.
The gorgeous covered buttons on the sleeve and pockets..
Another amazing jacket with covered buttons.
I loved the neck edge of this dress with self ruched fabric edged with some embroidery. Beautiful.
Complementary color ruffles around the neck, down the front and around the sleeves on this dress. Love the shape of the sleeves, too.
Carefully cut and gathered trim adorns this dress — down the front and on the sleeves.
Here is a close-up of the trim near the hem. It is scallop cut and then gathered.
And, a close-up of the sleeve. Lots of fussy cutting on this garment!
A collection of men’s vests. Note the beautiful display, with the empty frames and their shadows.
Here is another view of that display.
A close-up of one of the vests with embroidery and beautiful handmade buttons. Perfect placement of the embroidery on the lapel. The cut on this vest is interesting, high cut armscye, and a raglan type seam in the shoulder, that would probably give a better fit and better range of motion in the shoulder.
Closeup of the embroidery and the handmade button – beautiful!
Here you can see the shoulder seams a bit better.
Another beautiful vest with amazing embroidery.
Dress trimmed with fringe.
Closeup of the fringe.
Dress with amazing handwork in the center bodice. The bodice piece can be interchangeable. I have some pictures of other bodice later in the story.
A side exhibit showed over embellished paper dolls that were in amazing condition. (Sorry – the exhibit was behind glass and difficult to take good pictures.)
Another paper doll, with a heart in her hand. I love how their little feet peek out below their dresses!
And, one more paper doll.
Here is an example of another bodice for a fancy dress. The embroidery is beautiful.
And, another bodice, with more amazing embroidery.
Love the neckline and the big self covered buttons on this jacket.
A gorgeous summer dress with beautiful embroidery.
A closeup of the back of the dress and the embroidery.
Love the double button front of this jacket.
A small piece of embroidery on a side display.
Loved this little purse on a side display. It folds flat for storage.
A gorgeous display showing a bride and groom.
A close-up of the embroidery on his jacket. Check out the embroidered buttons.
This dress was difficult to take a picture of because it was behind glass, but I loved the tucks and ruching. Check out how small the waist is on this dress – tiny!
A close up of the self fabric ruching on the sleeve.
And, the ruching at the neck, with self binding.
Another beautiful dress behind glass.
The sewer used the fabric lines to add interest to the neckline with added ruffles and covered buttons.
And, another amazing dress – look at these sleeves!
Love the wrap front and mutton sleeves on this dress.
Close up of the mutton sleeves with little pin tucks .
Closeup of the tucks on the front of the wrap style dress.
And, another beautiful dress. The bottom of the dress is underlayed with a different color – gorgeous!
The hand tucking and gathering on the neckline.
Look at the neckline and sleeves on this dress! Beautiful fabric manipulation with those gathers.
Closeup of the center front gathers.
Layers of ruffles on the sleeves and skirt.
Trimmed with lace, braid and lots of little covered buttons.
Sorry – this closeup is blurry, but you can see some of the detail.
Another blue dress trimmed with self fabric flowers and fringe.
Here is the detail on the sleeve.
Another beautiful dress. I love the wide necklines.
And, a child’s dress with tucks, buttons, embroidery and more.
A beautiful blue and white striped dress. Check out how those stripes match!
The stripes match down the sleeves, too. Gorgeous!
Another child’s dress with ruching and ruffles.
Steam punk! Plaid with ruffles, ruching and lots of buttons. Look at all of the fabric edged seams on this outfit.
A close up of the ruffles, all with fabric covered edges.
Closeup of the beautiful ruching on the cuff.
Closeup of the front bib and all of the buttons.
Now to a black steam punk dress, with lots of raw edge ruffles. This is the under sleeve. It is hard to see, but it is open with strips of ruffles holding it together.
The full dress with its bustle. All of the ruffle edges are raw edge cut as very small scallops.
This dress did remind me of making a dress from your drapes! Ha! The bias ruffle on the bottom is a great touch.
Here is a closeup of the neck edge. Some hand made lace on some batiste to make the dress a bit more modest, with a small ribbon that matches the dress.
Another side display that shows some paper dolls.
More paper dolls.
An umbrella – those are french knots all over the black fabric!
Beaded cuffs – sorry the picture isn’t better. They were gorgeous.
Over embellished jacket – lots of tassels, beads, embroidery and more!
Closeup of fabric manipulation on a cuff. (Sorry it is blurry).
Family traveling outfits.
Beautiful embroidery on this dress.
Closeup of the tulle on the neckline and chiffon on the sleeve. Check out the bodice and the ‘knot’ that carefully opens into pleats fitting the bodice perfectly.
Very royal dress with embroidery and lace.
Summer dress with embroidered bees and lace — such a fun dress!
Here is a closeup of the bees and embroidery. They are all a little bit different.
And, a closeup of the bodice.
Charming child’s dress with eyelet and ribbon.
The trim on this dress is beautiful. It’s lovely the way it naturally comes from the neckline, down the front and to the hem.
Simple silk dress.
Multi tulle layered party dress, embellished with beads and embroidery.
Closeup of the bodice.
A fun exhibit where the mannequins were only visible when the lightening changes in the room.
Here you can see the lighting changing and the garments appearing.
And, the first garment – with a big tassel.
The second dress with a beautiful silk rose.
Closeup of the screen.
And, the third dress.
A few more modern dresses, with lots of beading.
Feather trim on this dress.
And, fur trim on this coat.
This evening dress had exquisite beading details. Check out the hem.
A closeup of the beading on the hem.
More beautiful evening dresses.
Another beautiful beaded evening dress.
Closeup of the beading on the red and black dress.
Coat embellished with these pink flowers that are open at the top like pockets. I love the curved buttons, too!
Closeup of the ‘pockets’. (sorry for the blurriness)
Gorgeous draping on this evening dress.
Classic gorgeous dress.
So, I do have to say this was a weird sun embellished on the back of this capelet.
More beautiful draping.
This dress is hard to see because it is black. The feature is all manipulated into a beautiful texture.
The front and sleeves on this dress were interesting.
Here is a closeup. You’ll see the sleeves take advantage of the stripe, with the black peeking out of folds. The front is a big outward facing dart with gathers to fit the dress.
A closeup of the front.
Then we entered the big hall with more modern clothes.
Beautiful bound button holes and fun pockets. Love the orange lining!
Another angle so you can see the pockets a little bit better.
Ball gown with embellished bolero.
Close up of the bolero.
It is hard to see the seams and gathering on this dress since it is black – but it is amazing.
Closeup of the bodice with the gathers in a seam. Check out the folds around the waist/hip area.
Big tassel zip front dress.
Closeup of the tassels.
This jacket’s trim is beautiful, over the black tulle dress.
Closeup of the trim on the jacket.
Black taffeta dress with great gathering around the hips.
Lots of layered fabrics cut to look like flower petals. (Sorry for the blurriness).
Classic white jacket with pleated black skirt.
Amazing knife pleats on this dress. Love the way they curve on the skirt. Check out the multi colors of organza underskirt.
This is embroidery on the top and bottom side of the chiffon to give different looks.
Red carpet super woman look!
Another beautiful embroidered chiffon dress.
Close up of the embroidery.
Gorgeous back — beaded black trim.
And, the conservative front.
Strapless. But, look at the dress with the curved knife pleats in the background – wow!
Lots ‘o tulle! And more!
Here is a view of the skirt showing different colors of tulle in the underskirt.
Now that’s a bustle!
Modern color block in beautiful black and white.
Orange cape with fur trim.
Beautifully embellished hemline.
Closeup of the beadwork, including beaded fringe hem.
Love this modern cape!
Cocoon style topper.
Woven feathers. You can see the grid near the bottom of the jacket.
Sleek metal plate dress.
Gorgeous low back dress.
Heavily embellished with beads dress.
And, another heavily embellished beaded dress. Check out the front to the black dress with the low back in the background.
Beautiful jersey dress.
Form fitting bodice — with harem pants.
Gorgeous back to a black evening dress.
Self fabric tassels on a Kenzo outfit.
Love the folds and draping.
Unique shoulder treatment on a black dress.
Another great black dress with a hood that makes a beautiful draped collar.
Fitted formed scallop shell inspired dress. Not sure of the tulle UGGs, though!
Burned velvet dress – exquisite!
Dress form inspired jacket! So much fun!
The neckpiece on this fur and silk garment is amazing.
Argyle socks, tulip skirt, asymetrical top and vest . . .
Not sure of the ‘dryer vent’ on the skirt of the red and white checked dress.
Classic . . .
Lots of curved piecing with bias tape.
Old bottle caps and coins adorn this jacket.
Love chiffon over the gingham, and a lovely collar.
More fabric manipulation.
Nice use of mixing fabrics, with a green chain!
And, the back of the lovely pleated dress. Can you tell I loved it?
The pleats in this dress were interesting, with black threads in them to make them visually appealing.
Closeup of the pleats.
And, another view of the pleats. Looks like origami to me!
The fringe was cut perfectly around the designs on this dress.
Front view of the fringe dress.
Beautiful use of fabric in this gold dress, with perfect pleats on the skirt.
Closeup of the skirt.
An amazing adventure through 300 years of fashion was over. I could visit it again and again. I highly recommend this exhibit.
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