Collection Highlights: Magnificent Dresses From the National Museum of Costume

National Museum of Costume in Portugal

Dresses
Let's take a quick look at some of the dresses in the collection of the National Costume Museum in Portugal.
The Baroque and Rocaille style
Dresses from the period of 1796 - 1790

BAROQUE PERIOD

During the Baroque period, women’s dress mostly comprised three items: the fitted bodice, the skirt and the overskirt. Large necklines, makeup and perfumes were essential elements of seduction.

1740 AND 1770

Between 1740 and 1770, within plain Rocaille period, a new and buoyant dress is introduced, composed of bodice, skirt and the well-known plis Watteau.

The Romantic style
Dresses from the period of 1825 - 1865

ROMANTICISM

The publication of the poems Camões (1825) and D. Branca (1826) by Almeida Garrett marked the beginning of Romanticism in Portugal, which would endure for 40 years.

CORSETS AND THE WAISTLINE

Women recovered the use of corsets and the waistline returned to its natural place, since fashion demanded delicate waists.

THE 1850'S

In the 1850’s skirts reached its maximum expression with the introduction of the crinoline.

FEMALES IN ROMANTICISM

The feminine ideal of Romanticism praised delicate, fragile and pale women, consumed by melancholia. The favourite fabrics were silk and cotton muslin with leaves, flowers, checkered and stripes patterns.

The Belle Époque style
Dresses from the period of 1870 - 1914

19TH CENTURY

The second half of the 19th century was an era of great eclecticism both in arts and in fashion with a clear influence of other periods’ styles. Women wore two-piece dresses, comprising bodice and skirt made of heavy fabrics.

FEMALE DRESS

Women’s dress featuring this frame was made fashionable by the couturier Charles Worth.

VOLUMINOUS FRAME

Silhouette was provided by a voluminous internal frame called tournure (bustle) on the backside of the skirt.

CORSET AND BODICE

The corset underneath the bodice remained in fashion. The skirt was long, with an array of drapery, passementerie, trinkets, ribbons, bows, pompoms and fringes.

HEALTH CORSETS

In 1890 women witnessed the emergence of the so-called health corsets, which shaped an “S” undulated silhouette.

TURTLEDOVE BREAST

Women’s bust was elevated and emphasized in such a way that it was called "turtledove breast". The long skirts suggested bell jars and usually exhibited a small train.

From styles to trends
Dresses from the period of the 20th century.

THE LEAN SILHOUETTE

Women promptly followed the new slender and lean silhouette proposed by Paul Poiret, who dictated fashion in Paris.

STRAIGHT LINE

Dresses were straight lined and high waisted, enabling women to free themselves from the corset.

THE ROARING TWENTIES

The 1920’s, or the Roaring Twenties, was a decade of prosperity, pursuit of pleasure, nightlife enjoyment and artistic renovation.

STRAIGHT LINES

The dresses were cut in straight lines, had low waists and showed the legs above the knees.

NONCONFORMIST ATTITUDE

The 1960’s typified a new change in dress. Youth became the model to take after, conveying a nonconformist attitude and opposing politics and mentalities of the time. Fashion movements came from the streets and influenced Haute Couture.

THE AVANT-GARDE

Paco Rabanne, André Courrèges and Pierre Cardin embodied the avant-garde tendencies of the 1960’s and were associated with the futuristic fashion.

THE MAXI-SKIRT

Young fashion trends in the seventies included the maxi-skirt, hot pants and long trousers.

RETURN TO NATURE

Defiance to the establishment with a non-violent, utopian ideology defending the return to nature.

THE SEVENTIES

Yves Saint Laurent was the couturier who represented the height of chic in the seventies and his name became a synonym for elegance.

READY TO WEAR

Yves Saint Laurent was the man who set the image of the 1970s, although he had launched in 1966 the trouser suit and the Haute Couture smoking for women. His ready-to-wear creations issued fundamental articles for the modern women clothing.

ECOLOGICAL CONSCIOUSNESS

In the nineties the ecological consciousness is emphasized and news forms of spirituality emerge, and there are new ideas coming to the fore based on a broad, global humanitarian outlook.

THE MINIMALIST

Fashion developed in two major directions: the minimalist and the spectacular.

PORTUGUESE FASHION

A large number of portuguese fashion designed have emerged and been successful since 1980s.

Credits: Story

Texts: Madalena Braz Teixeira
Translation: Márcia de Brito
Online exhibition: Cândida Caldeira
Collection: National Costume Museum in Portugal
Photos: ©DGPC/ADF

Bibliography:
- PORTUGAL. Museu Nacional do Traje; TEIXEIRA, Madalena Braz Teixeira; Trad. Márcia de Brito - Moda do Século : 1900-2000. Lisboa : Museu Nacional do Traje, 2000. ISBN 972-9261-54-7

- PORTUGAL. Museu Nacional do Traje; TEIXEIRA, Madalena Braz Teixeira; trad. Márcia de Brito - National Costume Museum: guide. Lisboa : Instituto Português de Museus, 2005. ISBN 972-776-274-3

- PORTUGAL. Museu Nacional do Traje - [Texts from the Permanent exhibition of the National Museum of - Costume in Portugal. From the XVIII century to the present day.], 2011.

All rights belong to the National Museum of Costume in Portugal unless otherwise stated. For more click here.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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