Sometimes, things just start certain way and keep going the same way. But, often they are able to take up a new direction and grow into something bigger and better. This is exactly the history in a nutshell behind the Museum of Historical Costume, previously known as XIX Gallery. Where once it started its journey from scratch as a private collection of antique 19th century clothing, it now proudly holds an eminent name in its own right by expanding its status as a massive museum.
This has been possible due to the utmost praise and encouragement from the people outside. Displayed in multiple museums in Poland, this unique collection and the events associated with them were well attended and hugely appreciated which has pushed us to propagate this idea on a bigger scale in the fashion and clothing arena.
We all are aware about how our clothing and fashion sense clearly sends out the message about our personality, informing about our adherence to a specific social group and the times that we live in which may be influenced by numerous social, political or economic events. It further reflects our desire for beauty in accordance with the current canon. Fashion undoubtedly, has an enormous influence over our lives and traditional and historical dresses from the past are capable of giving us the most accurate and interesting clues about the society and culture of those times.
Poland unfortunately, struggled to keep its cultural richness firm and intact in the times of rapid and turbulent changes which resulted in instability and loss of the records of traditional and antique clothing. The women fashion history from other parts of Europe is traceable to many centuries back with loaded and explicit details whereas the historical dresses of Poland has little to no special mentions in the history. But now is the time to proudly display the distinctive features of the Poznan’s historical dresses publicly.
During the nineteenth century, fashion gained momentum and changed much more dynamically than in previous centuries with the rediscovery of The Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque. Various archaeological excavations were carried out and the fascination with past centuries found its reflection in the applied art. Interior designing, style of jewelry, as well as fashions and decorations of women’s dresses all reflected the appearance and impression of historical styles.
Almost in every ladies magazine were embroidery patterns for household linens, children clothing and underwear. Many women basing on this printed supports created custom embroidered works of art, which in many cases we can admire to this day and so the printing and reprinting of the latest and intriguing fashion style in ladies magazine along with the availability of various sewing patterns enabled these women to make fashionable dresses, children garments and other items all by themselves.
The aforementioned ideas thus depict the nineteenth century fashion as circling; ending and starting with a style that refers to ancient patterns. It repeats itself in a cyclical manner coming back to the origin where it all began from- the first one drawing inspiration from the originals and the second referring rather to its predecessor than to antiquity. In the remaining periods, reference to the Gothic, Romanesque or Renaissance art are very clear and have significantly influenced the formation of the style of a given decade.
The motivation and aim behind the foundation of this museum is the passion to exhibit one’s own cultural values and tastes in front of the world- a blend of pride and achievement indeed. Our pursuit, therefore does not come with the only limitation of gathering and preservation of antique clothing. We also strongly believe in pushing the boundaries of innovation and creativity by sharing our heritage and collection with the whole world.
The costumes presented at the exhibition clearly allow you to look at the transformation and gradual changes in women’s fashion over the course of the century. A roller coaster ride of witnessing the simple antiques from the beginning of the century to heavy, richly embroidered belle epoque dresses, an absolute rich women’s fashion history along with the history of the various dresses and costumes will unfold in front of your eyes, engaging you to its very core, leaving an impression of pure joy and reverence for the Polish culture and women’s fashion.
Mundi Plumarii Foundation actively supports The Museum of Historical Costume. Foundation offers top quality custom embroidery and embroidered patches to non-profits.