European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal Exhibitions

Europe Vs Europe

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Tumblr Exhibition Highlight

The object described in this post is part of the selection made by sudents of the course ‘Curating Fashion: History, Theory & Practice’ at The New School – Parsons Paris. The object – a caricature made by artist Pierre de la Mésangère in 1816 hold in the Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – is part of the capsule curation ‘Europe Vs Europe’ Check out the whole exhibition on our tumblr:

From the left side of the illustration we can see three figures situated to watch the people come down the rollercoaster, the coloring of the garments invokes the notion of sovereignty and seriousness. On the rollercoaster, you can see the two women in brightly colored green and pink dresses flying in the wind – a little further behind another figure in bright yellow. The colors here could be interpreted as the only signifiers of the nations within nations, after the French Revolution the Russian invasion, French styles of the moment strived to be a statement about a new free France, even after Russia won the Battle of France. The lack of tension in this depiction implies a momentary ambivalence to looking for differences, but rather still finding ways to enforce segmentation – the reference of the Russian Mountain as a sudden barrier within the city, even if a barrier they find themselves enjoying.

The viewers assumedly Russian and the participants light-hearted Parisians who enjoy the recuperation of all trends and in their own view, improve on them.

Throughout the previous images in our collection, we’ve seen how Europe takes to self-fragmenting in a way to create more individual identities for the nations, then for the regions within them – in this instance we can see how despite all their prejudices against one another, they are of each other. Europes within Europe, the Russians depicted with their fashions, here not only limited to clothes, brought a spectacle with them which eventually becomes an important and celebrated part of the culture. The spectacle of sartorial nuances, and of course, the Russian Mountains.