Earlier this month I visited the excellent Textile Museum in St. Gallen again.
The reason for that was the exhibition about one of St. Gallens famous textile companies, Schläpfer. From the 1960s, they introduced many innovations and were responsible for some of the most amazing fabrics you've ever seen - anything to do with sequin or crystal embroideries and other such things - they did it. Many of their designs were inspired by artists, and their fabrics were bought by all the great designers in Paris. You can see some images and info in German and French here: http://www.textilmuseum.ch/lisbet-und-robert-j-schlapfer-textile-innovationen-1965-1995/ (you can click on the images to enlarge them). It was just one room on the lower exhibition floor, so not very big. There were endless sample swatches of the most amazing fabrics on show, plus images from fashion shows and magazines that were meticulously collected in big scrapbooks. Also there were garments made from the fabrics by their inhouse seamstress, to show their clients the fabrics to their best advantage. The clothes were beautiful, but of course the fabrics were the real "stars" here! One of the best designs was one of their earliest, which helped them establish their reputation. These fabrics used the ornaments on gold backgound that are typical of the painter Gustav Klimts best-known art works in small repeats. There were differnt designs and different colorways, but they all were with gold and brilliant colors embroidered on finest tulle. The italian designer Mila Schön made simple, straight shift dresses out of this in the mid-1960s which showed these fabrics to their very best advantage. There were images of them on show, but unfortunately, I can't find any online...
On the second exhibition floor, there was another amazing exibition to be discovered: http://www.textilmuseum.ch/sammlungswelten-die-welt-in-schachteln/
This was all about the collectors who have over the decades contributed to the museum by donating their personal collections. Displayed in several rooms in big "cardboard" boxes, grouped by collection, was anything you could imagine: fine embroideries from India, Pakistan and Central Asia, historial dresses (like an Alençon lace dress worn by empress Eugenie of France), countless books filled with fabric samples, centuries-old lace and fabric samples (some of them going back to medieval times - the mind boggles!), embroidery samples, 18th century men's suits and waistcoats with their brilliant embroideries - both full garments and uncut fabrics - old etchings of typical outfits of the many people inhabiting the Austro-Hungarian empire... and then, in the last room: costumes from St. Gallen's city theatre, and items from a vintage clothing collector! Whilst the first rooms had been dimly lit so as not to damage the delicate old fabrics, this room was all white and nicely lit, and since there was no one else about, I took some images with my phone (don't worry - no flash)!
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