The museum also pays special attention to Dutch fashion, with frequent exhibitions mounted to explore local themes or highlight notable designers. Recent high-profile exhibitions include Jan Taminiau: Reflections(2018), a retrospective of the work of the internationally renowned Dutch couturier and go-to designer of Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, and Duran Lantink: Old Stock (2019), featuring new works by a rising star who came to fame the year before following the release of American performing artist, actor and activist Janelle Monáe’s music video for the song “Pynk”, which featured the singer in a pair of “vagina pants” of Lantink’s design.
These and other fashion exhibitions are designed to reflect both the diversity of the museum’s costume collection as well as current social and political developments as manifested in the world of fashion. Both of these are present in our upcoming exhibition, Voices of Fashion: Black Couture, Beauty and Styles, which opens in February 2021. This exhibition will be the first ever staged by an art museum in the Netherlands to query the white gaze as the default vantage point from which to present, wear and collect fashion. Co-curated by fashion activist Janice Deul, the show explores the role and position of Black designers in the Netherlands, Europe, America and Africa through history and into the present day.
Exhibitions such as these play a key role in our aim to inspire curiosity and stimulate discussion within society, support creativity and promote greater public participation in the museum’s activities. To this end, we task ourselves with maintaining a leading position in collecting and exhibiting key works by international fashion designers operating at the intersection of fashion and other art forms