Exhibitions - Museo del Traje, C.I.P.E.

The principal tour sets out the history of clothing in Spain, placing it in an international context and making up the very heart of the Museum. The subdued lighting required for the conservation of the delicate collections of clothing and the serene, elegant design of the museum fittings create a peaceful atmosphere, perfect for quiet contemplation of the magnificent pieces and the enjoyment of a relaxing visit.

The beginnings of the history of dress are explained with audiovisual resources and the display of archaeological, medieval and renaissance pieces. The main body of the collection starts off with the eighteenth century with spectacular examples of dresses in the rococo and Empire style. It continues with the voluminous female figures of the nineteenth century achieved by using crinolines and bustles. It then goes on with the liberation of women's bodies with dresses by Paul Poiret and Fortuny, a revolutionary Spanish designer of international renown. After visiting the showcases devoted to the New Look, the next part of the visit is devoted to Spanish haute couture represented, among others, by Balenciaga, Pedro Rodrí­guez, Manuel Pertegaz and Elio Bernhayer as well as by international fashion with Paco Rabanne, Courreges Versace and Chanel, to cite some well-known companies. It finishes off with contemporary Spanish designers.

Within this principal route there are two rooms on specific themes: Regional Costumes and Fortuny, both collections being of considerable importance.

This tour is completed by an educative area, which is set out along side the exterior display window in a bright, luminous area with no original pieces exhibited so it has been possible to give this visit an informal character with graphic elements and large format photographs predominating. It is punctuated by a series of interactive modules concerned with three fundamental questions: Why do we dress? How are clothes made? What form do they take?

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