Collection Highlights: Magnificent Dresses From the National Museum of Costume

By National Museum of Costume in Portugal

Dress inspired in the portuguese tiles (1986) by José CarlosNational 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.

National Museum of Costume - Permanent exhibition (2016-11-16) by National Museum of CostumeNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

The Baroque and Rocaille style

Dresses from the period of 1700 - 1790

Dress with plis Watteau and children's vest (1720/1750) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

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.

Dress and Men's suit (1770/1780) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

White pearl silk satin dress and Men's Suit (1800) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

Empire Style

Dresses from the peroid 1796-1820

Empire dress (1804) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

Dresses were made of light and diaphanous materials, such as cotton and were cut in straight lines, with high waists and short puff sleeves accompanied.

National Museum of Costume - Permanent exhibition (2016-11-16) by National Museum of CostumeNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

The Romantic style

Dresses from the period of 1825 - 1865

Cream and red silk taffeta dress (1850/1860) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

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.

Green taffeta dress (1840/1850) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

CORSETS AND THE WAISTLINE

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

Lilac silk taffeta dress and shawl (1850) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

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.

National Museum of Costume - Permanent exhibition (2016-11-16) by National Museum of CostumeNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

The Belle Époque style

Dresses from the period of 1870 - 1914

Red silk satin dress (1870/1880) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

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.

White and gray silk taffeta dress (1870) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

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.

Brown dress (1890) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

HEALTH CORSETS

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

Black silk satin dress (1895/1905) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

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.

National Museum of Costume - Permanent exhibition (2016-11-16) by National Museum of CostumeNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

From styles to trends

Dresses from the period of the 20th century.

Evening dress (1913) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

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.

Evening dress (1925) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

THE ROARING TWENTIES

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

Pink dress (1920/1930) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

STRAIGHT LINES

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

Cream silk taffeta dress (1930/1940) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

In the 1930’s, women’s dress returned to more curvy lines, skirts were longer and the waistline returned to its natural place.

Long red dress (1930/1935) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

Madeleine Vionnet created the bias cut, which al¬lowed clothes an appreciated flexibility and fluidity, giving the body a sensual shape.

White silk dress (1944) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

Second World War (1939/1945) imposed exten¬sive restrictions and several Haute Couture houses closed down in France. Wartime rationing meant shorter and tighter clothing. Women wore tailleurs with trimmed waistline, straight and mid-length skirts, padded shoulders and wide ample pockets, granting their silhouette a masculine and almost military figure.

Black wool jacket and black wool twill frock coat and trousers (1947) by Jacket: Edward MolineuxNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

After the end of Second World War, Christian Dior met women’s yearnings when he created a feminine and luxurious silhouette. His style was named New Look since it appeared as a reaction to the functional fashion of the 1940’s. It was pre¬sented in Paris in 1947 with the aim of restoring sensuality to women’s look.

Paper dress (1965/1970) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

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.

Nappa dress (1965) by Attrib. Paco RabanneNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

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.

Light blue evening dress (1970) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

THE MAXI-SKIRT

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

Paper dress (1965/1970) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

RETURN TO NATURE

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

Velvet dress (1979/1980) by Yves Saint LaurentNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

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.

Dress inspired in the portuguese tiles (1986) by José CarlosNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

THE EIGHTIES

Dress, 1986
José Carlos

Blue coat and multicolour skirt (1985) by AugustusNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

Dress, 1985
Augustus

Nylon Dress (1996) by Fátima LopesNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

PORTUGUESE FASHION

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

Long dress with marine motifs (1997) by Nuno GamaNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

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.

Flower dress (2005) by Paulo AzenhaNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

Dress, 2005
Paulo Azenha

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.

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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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