Arts & Entertainment

Belgium exhibition explores evolving relationship between fashion, nudity

By Jon Ander Tapia

Hasselt, Belgium, Jul 6 (EFE).- An exhibition exploring the evolution of the relationship between fashion and nudity in connection to the body, gender and religion has opened at the Hasselt Fashion Museum in Belgium.

“The main objective of the exhibition is to invite the public to reflect on what is socially acceptable on an aesthetic level and what is not,” Eve Demoen, the curator of the exhibition “Dress, Undress,” tells Efe.

The exhibition contextualizes cultural contradictions revolving around the body and the contemporary fashion designers’ inclination to expose it.

It features dresses from top designers and partner brands to show how catwalks around the world have placed bodies at the center of aesthetic narratives.

Pieces by Belgian designers such as Ester Manas and Lili Schreiber are displayed alongside those of Vivienne Westwood, Versace and Jean Paul Gaultier.

“Besides showcasing classic pieces from our collection, we’ve collaborated with fashion brands like Miu Miu and designers like John Galliano that were worn on the red carpet by celebrities like Kim Kardashian,” Demoen says.

Although the daring gowns have a significant role in the exhibition, there are a series of outfits that celebrities wore to cover their bodies from head to toe as a form of protest or send a symbolic message.

The Balenciaga black dress US reality TV star Kim Kardashian wore to the Met Gala 2021 was designed to cover the whole body amid the widespread protests over the death of George Floyd and the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US.

The exhibition includes various outfits inspired by religious themes such as burkas, niqabs and hijabs.

Among the decorations standing out are hyper-realistic mannequins at the museum entrance and screens broadcasting galas and fashion shows.

“Although the target audience is people of all genders and ages, many young visitors and a large percentage of men aware of other body types come to the exhibition,” Demoen says.

This is considered a success for an exhibition that addresses controversial yet sensitive issues such as sexual experimentation, gender binary, female empowerment and body positivity.

The exhibition will be offering guided tours until November 20. EFE


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