Image: Karl Lagerfeld for CHANEL, courtesy of TextielMuseum © CHANEL, photography Karl Lagerfeld
The TextielMuseum in Tilburg, The Netherlands, has now reopened and is able to welcome visitors back to its The Art of Lace exhibition, subject to restrictions. The exhibition portrays the innovative power of French Leavers lace, giving a behind-the-scenes look at lace makers and couturiers, from the design and manufacture to the finished product, ready for the catwalk. It includes garments by Alberta Ferretti, Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Iris van Herpen, Louis Vuitton, Maison Margiela, Schiaparelli and Yiqing Yin.
Image: The Art of Lace, ontwerper Iris van Herpen. Photo: Josefina Eikenaar/TextielMuseum
Woven on a loom, Leavers lace can accommodate the experimental designs of couturiers while also challenging them to the utmost in creating their collections. The fabric looks delicate but is quite strong: unlike knitted lace, it does not fray. It can be transparent or opaque, can incorporate varying patterns, materials and colours, and can be woven in 3D. For Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld laminated the lace, allowing the stiffness of the material to accentuate the patterns, while Iris van Herpen is inspired by lace in 3D printing that mimics the effect of this ornate fabric.
Image: Maison Margiela, Collection: Haute Couture A/W 2012. Photo: Fred Collier, Ville de Calais (Haute Dentelle)
The Art of Lace offers an intimate insight into haute couture and illustrates the close dialogue between the Leavers lace makers and the fashion designers. While fashion houses usually keep their suppliers and techniques secret, this exhibition reveals the complete process behind each haute couture piece, with videos and samples to admire and even touch. The process of lacemaking and couture is one of continuous development and innovation. The Art of Lace is a tribute not only to the vision of the fashion designer, but also the creativity and skill of the lace maker.
For more information visit www.textielmuseum.nl
For further reading on lace, Selvedge Issue 82 was dedicated to this intriguing textile.