Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Orient des femmes

"A true hymm to oriental women, the exhibition reveals another aspect of femininity, from the North of Syria to the Sinaï peninsula, introducing an exceptional collection of 150 traditional costumes and accessories from the Near East, selected by designer Christian Lacroix, in close co-operation with Hana Chidiac, Head of the North African and Near East collections at the musée du quai Branly.

"The creations presented reveal to the visitor a glimpse of the history of these women whose hands, gestures, tastes and talent have endowed the fabric and the silk or cotton threads with part of themselves, composing each garment like a work of art.

"As the political, economic and cultural crossroads between Asia, Europe and Africa, the Near East has been the cradle of rich civilisations that have left their marks on many different artistic fields, including art of clothes, still largely unknown to a wider public.
The history of textile and embroidery extends over thousands of years, and can be seen not only as a way of dressing, but also as a language, and as social, geographical and religious markers.

"Since the 1970s, the image and appearance of Near Eastern women have changed. Today, what we call "Islamic dress" imposes itself across the region. This dark costume completely covers the body of woman, leaving no part visible, and is in fact leading to the progressive abandonment of traditional eastern
costumes, causing the disappearance of the final remnants of a secular art of clothes.

"By exhibiting for the first time a selection of traditional dresses originating from a vast area at the heart of the "Fertile Crescent", from the north of Syria to the Sinaï Peninsula, the musée du quai Branly offers to its visitors the opportunity to discover the diverse ways of life and costumes of Near Eastern women.

It reveals a different face of the Eastern woman, taking a new, lively and aesthetic look at their traditional creations."

Musée de quai Branly

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