Femmes Fatales

As I entered this exhibition, my feminist heart started to beat a little faster. Strong women in fashion. Never before have women such as Coco Chanel, Iris van Herpen, Vivienne Westwood, Miuccia Prada and Sonia Rykiel been shown together in one and the same exhibition.

The Gemeente Museum Den Haag thought that this should change and the result is this breathtaking exhibition “Femmes Fatales – Strong women in fashion. The exhibition includes striking creations and stories from female (inter)national designers. There are two aspects to this show – one is the incredible creativity of the designers and the other is the inspired use of protest placards and slogans for women’s rights that accompany them.

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Think of items from the collections of Commes des Garçons, which literally means “just like the boys”, the Dior SS17 collection with the famous slogan “We should all be feminists” and the pink hats with ears (pink pussy hats) during the Women’s March and on Angela Missoni’s catwalk. In addition, there is a lot of attention for the fabulous Vivienne Westwood – an important character in the fashion world (and also an activist) who does not shy away from kicking against established houses.

Such powerful women who not only make beautiful designs, but also show guts and do not shy away from clear statements, it is hard to imagine that the first female designers had to stand up in a man’s world. And so the expo also goes further back in history with attention to beautiful pieces and sketches of the first female designer Coco Chanel. “That little seamstress”, the famous Coco Chanel was scornfully described by her contemporary Paul Poiret. He attacked her on being a woman, but in fact he saw her as a big competitor. Fortunately times have changed. For the better.

Gemeente Museum Den Haag


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