European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal EFHA World

MODE * CHAPEAU: Two Private Collections Revealed

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A new, extra-rich and multimedia exhibition at Centraal Museum Utrecht

On 9 May, Centraal Museum Utrecht opened the exhibition MODE * CHAPEAU: Two Private Collections Revealed.

The exhibition is a complex project bringing together hidden treasures coming from the impressive collections of Hans van Emmerik and the late Tiny Meihuizen-Wijker.

Hans van Emmerik’s collection focuses on the first fifty years of the 20th century, and is probably the largest private collection in this field in the Netherlands. His collection allows to appreciate famous creations by Jeanne Lanvin and Elsa Schiaparelli, as well as showcasing garments – and stories – of lesser known creators, such as Maria Monaci Gallenga, the maison Callot Soeurs, and Jenny Sacerdote.

Tiny Meihuizen-Wijker founded the hat museum Gossip & Whispering in Utrecht. The museum is now closed, but the collection is extensive and includes more than twelve hundred items of headwear, counting for striking examples of the most fashionable headwear of the early 20th century, like hats with plumage, feathers and even stuffed birds, or exquisite pieces made of fabric flowers, popular in the 1950s and 1960s.

‘Collecting fashion is an art in itself: assembling a collection requires time, knowledge, passion, a keen eye and a bit of luck. MODE * CHAPEAU brings together highlights from two world-class private collections for the first time, supplemented with remarkable items from our own collection. Visitors can also try on hats digitally.’

Ninke Bloemberg, curator of the museum, explains that the show is supplemented by some treasures from CMU’s own collection, ranging from historical pieces, to Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh for Nina Ricci, up to Junya Watanabe. Some of the hats in CMU’s collection are part of a special commission aimed at fostering the participation of the audience to the show and the interaction with some of the exhibits, developed in the context of the 5DCulture project. Via a web app, available in situ via a digital mirror and also on mobile devices, visitors can try on 3D-scanned hats from different periods that are showcased in the exhibition. The app has been co-developed by the 3DOM-FBK research group, EFHA and CMU. The app is also accessible here.

MODE * CHAPEAU runs from 9 May to 29 September 2024 in the Another Story space in the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. The exhibition is designed by Tatyana van Walsum.