Yesterday I happened upon the Caravaggio Fashion and Fabrics exhibition at the Museum of The Order of St John in Clerkenwell. I’d had a sneaky lunch with the man and on the way home, spotted the words ‘Fashion’ and ‘Fabrics’ on a banner near the museum. Being the sucker that I am for such things, off I dashed to check it out.
It wasn’t the most vast exhibition. Indeed I think I can count on two hands the number of pieces exhibited, but sometimes those small shows are good right? There are no crowds, no alarms if you get within 2m and you can ACTUALLY take photos. Imagine that! 😉
Who Was Caravaggio?
I have to admit… I had no knowledge of the name Caravaggio until yesterday. And the only picture I took of the Caravaggio works was the painting at the top of this post. But then, I don’t recall seeing many more. It came across to me that the exhibition was inspired by Caravaggio’s paintings of those people wearing vestments.
His most famous painting ‘The Cardsharps’, painted in 1595, was actually on display and I forgot to take a photo. Oops.
Caravaggio was quite notorious. He was accused of murder in 1606 and so fled to Malta from Rome. Once there he was admitted as a Knight of the Order, and painted some rather awesome alter paintings – or so the blurb goes. He got into a fight with a fellow Knight, was imprisoned, and then escaped again, this time dashing off to Sicily! This guy liked to run! 😉
He finally died in 1610, on his way back to Rome.
Fashion and Fabrics
Now that I’ve done my duty and told you about Caravaggio, lets take a gander at the fashion and fabrics on display. All the images show Milanese Workmanship and were created between the late 16th century and the start of the 17th century.
My favourite is the sleeveless blue silk damask gown, which I’ve posted up first. I love how the back (second and third images) has been pieced together, making use of the available fabric.
I’m also quite inspired by the eyelets detailing on the side seams. Could definitely be worked into the zero waste collection i’m slowing working on. Hmmm…
I also quite like how the second garment has the back extending out further than the front. This could also make for an interesting construction technique.
Anyhow, take a look and let me know what you think in the comments below.
Til next time…
RECOMMENDED READING: If you liked this, check out my post on Hussein Chalayan, London Fashion Week Part One and Part Two, for some more (inspiring?) images!
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