Acrylic mini dress from the first collection in 1966
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Title: Mah-Jong dress
Date Created: 1966
Physical Dimensions: w100 x h85 cm
More Information: The Swedish clothing company Mah-Jong wanted to create beautiful clothes for everyone, and to encourage Swedish manufacturing. The clothes were produced at Borås Trikåfabrik. The clothes were knitted, and three patterns were combined in daring colour combinations. Acrylic yarn permitted strong colours, and synthetic materials were easily cleaned and wrinkle-free! Simple unisex clothing in new pliable materials allowed freedom of movement.
There were three young textile workers with fine arts training – Helena Henschen, Kristina Torsson, and Veronica Nygren – who wanted to design their own clothes without being dependent on the garment industry.
Mah-Jong's style was an expression of the progressive left movement in fashion. Unfortunately, the clothes, due to their Swedish price level, were often too expensive for that particular group of customers. Mah-Jong was mainly supported by an established group of cultural workers and students with radical political opinions.
Prosperity in Sweden increased rapidly after the war ended in 1945, and young people became an affluent group. For many young people, student life in the 1960s represented an awakening. The standards of the adult world were questioned, and ideals of equality and radical movements made their mark on the period. The emerging youth fashion was characterised, as today, by a variety of styles. Young people expressed their identity by being different and sometimes wore provocative clothing. Anti-fashion also became fashion.
This dress is part of the permanent exhibition Power of Fashion, 300 years of clothing. The exhibition depicts the history of clothing and fashion over several centuries – and provides a perspective on the driving forces that determine an individual's manner of dress, seen from the perspective of different social groups. Nordiska museet owns a unique costume collection, with garments from the 1600s to the present day.
Materials and Techniques: Coarse-knit acrylic jersey patterned with jacquard woven transverse wave shapes in brown and yellow-green.