WOMAN by Viktor
& Rolf, John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood, Veronique Leroy, Ann Demeulemeester,
Bernard Willhelm, Martin Margiela, Junya Watanabe en Hussein Chalayan
From 1 February 2003 the focus at the Centraal Museum is on the Ideal Woman. What do todays fashion designers consider the epitome of femininity and seductiveness and how important is that image of the ideal woman in their work? Nine internationally renowned fashion designers present their version of twenty-first-century woman in the Stables and young Dutch fashion designers and photographers contribute their vision in thirty showcases on the banks of Oude Gracht, which leads to the museum.
Todays fashion isnt about an ideal type of woman, like it used to be in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In part, that reflects the different backgrounds and cultures of todays designers - many of whom are not from the West. For example, the British Cypriot Hussein Chalayan emphatically rejects the traditional image of women as seductive visual objects. He believes that fashion sales have been based around sex for too long. For him, clothes are completely separate, and all about design, archetypes etc. Anyway, what is looking all about, and the look? Whats a veil supposed to hide? These are questions he explores in his installations.
Equally important is that the classic image of femininity and seductiveness has had a dramatic make-over in the last thirty years. The image of woman created by film, photography and fashion in the twentieth century - the glamourous echo of the nineteenth-century lady (the woman as showpiece) - was rejected by feminists in the 1970s. Treating women as objects in high heels was deemed oppressive and patriarchal. In the end this led to a new search for what femininity should represent in the twenty-first century. An emaciated Kate Moss in a shabby room in The Face or the kind of woman Ann Demeulemeester has been sketching for the past ten years.
In the Stables of the Centraal Museum, nine internationally renowned fashion designers present their vision of femininity and the ideal woman in the twenty-first century in the form of installations. The aim is to assemble as many different visions as possible.
Showcases in town
1 February - 9 March 2003: Shop window project Seduction on the Street. 28 Dutch fashion designers, photographers, beauticians and hairdressers present their view of Woman in Oudegracht shop windows