“Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”

08 May 2018









I love to get the chance to experience fashion exhibitions at museums <3 Any exhibition about fashion got my head spinning with inspiration in search of new knowledge and education. As a real nerdy fashion scientist I also tend to do my analyis of exhibitions out of theoris from Marie Riegels Melchiors book "Fashion and Museums-Theory and Practice". I tend to almost breathe in absolutely everything: The fashion subjects, the presentation, the informational material and ofc also stuff like lightning and staging. It is truly important for me to figure out what kind of message the curator who constructed the exhibition tries to send to me as being a voyeur and I do try to challenge my viewing in a deeper perspecive based upon academic concepts like history, ethnology, religion and art. I have discovered that the more I focus on details and do my very own analysis, the more interesting the exhibitions becomes for me.

In modern time museums has discovered that a way to keep relevant and attract visitors is very much based upon making traditional museums into democratic institutions of knowledge, education and pleasure. Although not only institutions as museums, as for example one part of my BA essay was based upon a bridal fashion exhibition at the Royal Castle in Stockholm. During my research I did an interview with our Royal Court representive Margareta Nisser-Dalman who is the head of "The Royal Collections Department". (A department that is responsible for the management, care and maintenance of the works of art and furnishings at Sweden's ten royal palaces). As she was responsible for the bridal exhibition we had deep discussions on what to think about in terms of making a fashion exhibition and the importance on sending a message that the viewer would understood, all in symbosis!

My thesis was based upon, for example, Erving Goffman theories about dramaturgical sociology. Shortly I may describe this approach as that the elements of human interactions are dependent upon time, place, and audience. I did my thesis upon this theory by Goffman by seeing the bridal fashion exhibition as a stage and the bridal dresses as actors performing on a stage. In that way I could do a theatrical metaphor in defining the method in which one human being presents itself to another based on cultural values, norms, and beliefs.  The goal of a exhibition is acceptance from the audience. If the exhibition is a succeess, the audience will view the exhibition as the curator/museum wanted it to be viewed.

I will of course the next time I am in New York visit Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute exhibition, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” that opens on Thursday, May 10 and continues until October 8. If you wanna read more about the exhibition use link to Vogue here! I sense you do not wanna miss out on this exhibition if you are a true passionista, as in having a deep passion for fashion! xoxo