À LA MODE. The art of appearing in the 18th century

English dress and skirt in pink silk satin, circa 1785, Paris, Palais Galliera, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris. Stanislas Wolff / Paris Musées / Palais Galliera
An exhibition with exceptional loans from the Palais Galliera, presented at the Musée d'arts de Nantes, from 26 November 2021 to 06 March 2022.

For the first time, the confrontation of pictorial works with 18th century costumes will allow us to explore a new staging of the body and individuals, between social demands and the whims of taste.

The history of costume and its representation in the Age of Enlightenment is as much the real illustration of a material culture as a creation of the imagination. In the 18th century, the birth of fashion was first and foremost that of new trades and a specialised press, and was a sign of the accelerated transformation of society. The French style, supported by both the aristocracy and the urban upper middle class, became established in all the courts and cities of Europe.

The exhibition À la mode. The art of appearing in the 18th century will bring together nearly 200 18th century objects from the major textile museums (Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris, Musée des tissus de Lyon, Musée de la toile de Jouy, Musée de la Chemiserie et de l'Élégance Masculine) and fine arts museums (Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Versailles, Louvre, Ecouen, Nantes, Dijon, Tours, Orléans, etc.)

Emblematic paintings (The Duchess of Polignac by Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun and The Fashion Merchant by François Boucher, Nationalmuseum Stockholm) will be displayed alongside precious unpublished textiles, clothing and accessories, some of which have been specially restored for the exhibition.


General Curator :
Sophie Lévy, curatorial director of the Nantes Museum of Art.

Scientific curator :
Adeline Collange-Perugi, curator responsible for the collections of ancient art at the Musée d'arts de Nantes.
Pascale Gorguet-Ballesteros, chief curator, head of the 18th century fashion and dolls department at the Palais Galliera, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris.
Sandrine Champion-Balan, chief curator, in charge of the Collections Development Department, in charge of the modern collections for the curatorship of the exhibition at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon.

In collaboration with the Palais Galliera and Paris Musées, this exhibition is co-produced with the Musée des Beaux-arts de Dijon, where it will be presented from 13 May 2022 to 22 August 2022.


With the exceptional contribution of the Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon.


Learn more : www.museedartsdenantes.nantesmetropole.fr