There is a lot of activity in the run-up to the Olympic Games, which will take place in Paris from July 26, 2024. After the Palais Galliera, which presents its exhibition ‘Fashion in motion’ until September 7, 2025, the tour of the Museum of Decorative Arts will show, through a richly documented exhibition, the many links that unite fashion and sport. This exhibition, called “Fashion and sport, from one stage to another”, can be seen until April 7, 2024.
Telling the story of the rise of sport through clothing and, conversely, deciphering how it has been used over time to benefit the sporting body, is the mission to which Sophie Lemahieu, curator of the exhibition, is committed. fashion and textile department of the institution. The route, both chronological and thematic, therefore offers a perfect dive into the sociology of sport, and implicitly that of fashion. “ The democratization of sporting activities has made clothing increasingly comfortable and less restrictive. », analyzes Sophie Lemahieu.
When we look at the first rooms, which are particularly dedicated to the medieval era of equestrian jousting, we realize how blatant the clothing restriction is, while armor and other iron protection prevented movement. We then discover how the advent of the bicycle shook up clothing habits, especially those of women who opted for culottes in the late 19th century.e century, or how football or rugby teams were structured, especially at English universities in the 19th century.e century. And with it the arrival of jersey sweaters, more flexible and ‘breathable’ than cotton shirts.
The exhibition then highlights various sporting practices and the clothing that goes with them. We then (re)discover the ties between tennis player Suzanne Lenglen and fashion designer Jean Patou, an avant-garde duo who worked on the tennis courts in the 1920s, where the young woman loosened her moves in light cotton dresses. see also the famous ‘petit piqué’ cotton polo shirt designed by René Lacoste in 1933, but also the first swimwear, a mid-length dress with corset, long sleeves and long trousers for women, or even how ‘sportswear’ has established itself in habits and wardrobes .
Amazon outfit by Rei Kawakubo
This Anglo-Saxon term, popularized in the French press in 1928, ultimately only indicated what the times dictated, namely an acceleration of sporting activity, which was then recommended by doctors. For example, Jeanne Lanvin introduced a sports section into her collections from 1923 onwards, just like Jean Patou or Gabrielle Chanel, who used soft jersey in her clothes to promote the freedom of the body. “ The sport quickly inspired couturiers and fashion designers. Some were also strong athletes before becoming stylists, such as Emilio Pucci, who was a skier on the Italian Olympic team of 1936, or Ottavio Missoni, several times Italian champion in the 400 meters. »explains the exhibition curator.
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