Out of Fashion

Art Direction: MAISON the FAUX. Photography: Olya Oleinic. Hair & make-up: Marije Koelewijn, Angelique Hoorn Management. Model: Anna, Elvis Models.
Art Direction: MAISON the FAUX. Photography: Olya Oleinic. Hair & make-up: Marije Koelewijn, Angelique Hoorn Management. Model: Anna, Elvis Models.

This summer - for the first time ever - more than 100 highlights from the museum’s own fashion collection will be brought out on display in the new exhibition Out of Fashion. Visitors will find themselves immersed in a world of 18th-century robes, royal gigot sleeves and experimental men’s suits of today. Who are the designers, and who are the customers? How are these remarkable designs preserved, and when can a fashion design be considered ‘deceased’? Come find out in the spectacular exhibition Out of Fashion

Two-piece robe c. 1892. Photo: Adriaan van Dam
Two-piece robe c. 1892. Photo: Adriaan van Dam

100 years of fashion collection: time to celebrate!

In 2017, Centraal Museum celebrates the fact that 100 years ago, it was the first museum to appoint the first paid fashion curator – a remarkable fact, worldwide. Carla de Jonge began her career as an archivist of the museum collection, but she quickly managed to set up a permanent costume exhibition and went on to considerably expand the museum collection. Over the past 100 years, the focus of the collection policy has undergone significant changes: from expanding the collection of historical costumes to focusing on conceptual and contemporary national and international fashion. 

Fashion in four themes

Out of Fashion highlights the wealth and diversity of the collection, but especially the wealth and diversity of fashion itself. Contemporary and historical fashion is presented side by side, grouped according to four themes: the maker, the wearer, the restorer and the visionary. Each of the four large rooms concentrates on one of these themes. Out of Fashion explores what inspires (today’s) designers, the reasons for the museum to acquire a certain piece, and who wore what. Highlights of the exhibition are a 'Live Science Programme', where restorers will perform their work on-site, and a stage on which the newest generation of talented fashion designers take turns to show off their latest creations. 

Discover the stories behind the icons and the collection

With the Live Science Programme, Centraal Museum offers a peek behind the screens of the restoration studio. Visitors can enjoy a close-up look at how textile restorers work on various costumes from the fashion collection, and can even put their questions to these experts. The museum is working with the collaborative museum platform for fashion and costume Modemuze, to develop an instructional programme based on the four themes. 

Mannequinage studio

Most of the clothing pieces in the exhibition are displayed on a mannequin. Dressing these mannequins is called ‘mannequinage’, and it is a fairly specialised and time-consuming task. In the studio, visitors are challenged to give it a go. Cotton replicas have been made of various iconic fashion designs with which to experiment at will.


The remarkable designs in the exhibition are a feast for the eye, but the exhibition design will stimulate all other senses too. For this purpose, Centraal Museum is working closely with MAISON the FAUX. This talented Dutch fashion duo has already showed their work during the New York Fashion Week and the Guangzhou Fashion Week. Especially for this exhibition, MAISON the FAUX has collaborated with 'Tenant of Culture'. Inspired by the different themes of the exhibition, they designed a series of objects which would preserve the clothing 'for eternity'.

Escapism look 9 (2011), Iris van Herpen. Photo: Adriaan van Dam
Escapism look 9 (2011), Iris van Herpen. Photo: Adriaan van Dam

The Centraal Museum fashion collection

Centraal Museum possesses a well-balanced fashion collection of around 10,000 items, including accessories. It is considered one of the most important collections in the Netherlands, both for historical costumes and contemporary fashion. Famous designers like Iris van Herpen, Maison Martin Margiela, Vivienne Westwood, Jan Taminiau, Issey Miyake, Viktor & Rolf, Craig Green and Junya Watanabe are all represented. The museum organises a prominent fashion exhibition almost every year.







In search of: H&M duvet coat by Maison Martin Margiela

On 16 December 2016 Centraal Museum started the online pursuit of the H&M duvet coat by Maison Martin Margiela from 2011. The coat is inspired by the iconic haute couture duvet coat by Martin Margiela from 1999. Centraal Museum will present the H&M duvet coat alongside the couture design in het exhibition Out of Fashion.

The response to the online call was overwhelming. Fashion curator Ninke Bloemberg received reactions from all over the country. She decided upon the duvet coat that belongs to Nick, which will be out on display during the whole exhibition period.

(This video is only available in Dutch)


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