Palazzo Madama: Fashion highlights

Explore the wonderful collection in the heart of Turin

Palazzo Madama

Textiles collection

Palazzo Madama textiles and fashion collection boasts more than 350 items: gowns, hats, bags, gloves, neckbands and lace shawls. In applied arts collections there are also painted paper fans, leather or fabric footwear, ivory and tortoise shell hair combs, metal buckles and buttons, labels for beauty products, miniature and canvas portraits, accessories and essential documents to study clothing and fashion. 

Lace cap (1590/1710)Palazzo Madama

Lace

Collars, hems, handkerchiefs,
geometric and light, or full, rich, magniloquent. From the sixteenth century,
lace’s patterns and texture vary, following the change of taste, clothing and
use. At first, they sought for transparency, new in comparison with embroidery
decoration, with curved lines, developed the third dimension with relief
points. In the XVIII century, we see a growing naturalism and imagination in design, the refined combinations of endless variety of underlying networks
and fillers, thick and thin wires.

Glove, 1600/1625, From the collection of: Palazzo Madama
Show lessRead more

Lace collar (1640/1655)Palazzo Madama

L'opera è datata al 1640-50. A quegli anni rimandano anche i confronti con i libri di modelli degli stessi anni, particolare il Libro di diversi disegni di Bartolomeo Danieli (Bologna 1630). Guarda i disegni nelle collezioni del Metropolitan Museum

Robe à la française (1725/1749)Palazzo Madama

Ladies in the XVIIth
Century

In the mid-seventeenth century, the "robe à la français" was the most common dress model for the European aristocracy and the rich bourgeoisie. Worn on top of corsets with buques, it could be composed of vaporous skirts and corset; It was open at the front to show the rich skirts, and often ended with bibs, richly decorated with ribbons, bows, jewels and precious applications. 

The definition of the gown was introduced in fashion around 1704. The comedy Andrienne, by Baron, was performed in Paris that year and the actress Therèse Dancourt wore a very successful dress. Since that moment, the garment acquired that name.

The dress is made of brocade fabric and silver-spun bobbin lace.

The dress is made of Gros de Tour of liseré silk. The Gros de Tours is a ribbed fabric, named after the city where the production was the strongest.

Stomacher, 1725/1750, From the collection of: Palazzo Madama
Show lessRead more
Interior of the Teatro Regio in Turin, Giovanni Michele Graneri, c. 1572, From the collection of: Palazzo Madama
Show lessRead more
Corset, 1750/1770, From the collection of: Palazzo Madama
Show lessRead more

The simplicity of the corset and the quality of the embroidery suggest it was a domestic garment, a négligé for a well-off woman.

Corset, 1770/1780, From the collection of: Palazzo Madama
Show lessRead more

The XVIIIth century bustiers and corsets compress the female torso in an unnatural way, pushing up the breasts, left uncovered by wide necklines. The Marquise Marie-Louise de Galliffet wore this corset at the court of Louis XVI, in Versailles.

The Finding of Moses (c. 1733) by Giovanni Battista CrosatoPalazzo Madama

Corsetti e pettorine, riccamente decorati, erano parte del lavoro della modista. Mentre la sarta tagliava le stoffe pregiate e predisponeva il modello, alla modista spettava il compito di occuparsi delle "garnitures"

Caraco jacket Caraco jacketPalazzo Madama

Dress Coat (1775/1800)Palazzo Madama

Men fashion

During the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries, the "doublet" continued to be the base of male wardrobe. Over time, it became less bulky; the layers, once wide and flared, became tighter and slipped backwards; the bottons disappeared, or were attached on the breats as a decoration, not to be tied. Over time, however, the shapes were simplified, and in 1750, Lord Chesterfield wrote to his son, newly arrived in Paris: "I hope you dress well, or according to the common sense of good society, which means that you shouldn’t be noticed for excesses or flaws, as a gentleman should stand for elegance, not for the glitz "

Doublet (1670/1680)Palazzo Madama

The fabric is embroidered with Savoy knots, alternating with roses: they are symbols of the House of Savoy, and attest the doublet is original from the ducal court of Turin.

Dress coat and breeches, 1780/1790, From the collection of: Palazzo Madama
Show lessRead more
Phoenix Ring, Regi Archivi Workshop, 1700/1799, From the collection of: Palazzo Madama
Show lessRead more

Men's fashion between the XVIIth and XVIIIth century is often focused on the details, which were used to emphasize differences in social classes and in everyday contexts.

Dress Coat (1775/1800)Palazzo Madama

"To be elegant, one should not be noticed. You need to banish scents and violent colors, searching for neutral or cool harmonies, enhancing the accessory, because it determines the overall apparel harmony." George Brummel (London, June 7 1778 - Caen, 30 March 1840)

Portrait of Giuseppe Antonio Petrolini, Giuseppe Mazzola, [1802] - [1804], From the collection of: Galleria Civica di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Torino
Show lessRead more

Set of buttons (1790/1800)Palazzo Madama

In XVIII century, buttons became a fundamental accessory for men’s clothing. They were often richly adorned with paintings, marquetries, embossed, gilded and – when it comes to tha rare bottons “à la buffon” – they were decorated with small insects and plants put under glass.

Mens embroidered headgear (1745/1755)Palazzo Madama

On the domestic side, the gentlemen wore precious, comfortable garments, and skullcaps, continental cocked hats or turbans.

Mens headgear, 1745/1755, From the collection of: Palazzo Madama
Show lessRead more

Evening dress Evening dress (1925)Palazzo Madama

Nineteenth and Twentieth century

With the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte, we see the affirmation of the “Empire style” in Europe. For women's clothing, it is a neoclassical revival, inspired by the Greek and Roman dresses depicted in archaeological findings of the time, which also echoed in jewelry. At the dawn of the new century, after the drama of World War I, it the style of a woman determined change in fashion: her name was Coco Chanel. "A world was at its end, another one was rising… It took simplicity, comfort and clarity. I offered it all of this” 

Empire dress, 1810/1815, From the collection of: Palazzo Madama
Show lessRead more

“I shall want two new coloured gowns for the summer […]. I shall not trouble you, however, to get more than one of them, and that is to be a plain brown cambric muslin, for morning wear; the other, which is to be a very pretty yellow and white cloud, I mean to buy in Bath” Letter of Jane Austen, January 25th, 1801

Tiara (1820/1840)Palazzo Madama

Portrait of a young woman (1808/1830) by Fanny CharrinPalazzo Madama

Parure of necklaces, earrings, and part of a bracelet (Late 18th century - Early 19th century) by Francesco TanadeiPalazzo Madama

Evening dress Evening dress, 1925, From the collection of: Palazzo Madama
Show lessRead more

Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.
(Coco Chanel)

Hat, 1928/1930, From the collection of: Palazzo Madama
Show lessRead more
Evening dress Evening dress, 1925, From the collection of: Palazzo Madama
Show lessRead more
Portrait of Miss Severini (Portrait of Gina Severini) (My daughter), Gino Severini, 1934, From the collection of: Galleria Civica di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Torino
Show lessRead more
Credits: Story

Cura della mostra:
Maria Paola Ruffino, Curatore per le arti decorative, Palazzo Madama
Coordinamento: Carlotta Margarone, Responsabile Comunicazione, Fondazione Torino Musei
Inserimento: Valentina Lo Faro e Francesca Papasergi
Traduzioni: Alessandro Malusà
#fashionpam

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.
Explore more
Related theme
We Wear Culture
The stories behind what we wear
View theme
Google apps