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17 November, 2011 – 24 October, 2012


This is for the first time that the fashion exhibition of the 1960s, part of Alexandre Vassiliev's collection, has been exhibited in Vilnius. The display comprises rarities of haute couture clothing produced by the most prominent fashion houses of the decade: Chanel, Dior, Balmain, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Nina Ricci, Cardin, Courrèges, Laroche, Cassini, Valentino. Parisian fashion dominates although the exhibition reflects also fashion clothing from Italy, Britain and the USA. The 1960s women's fashion is unique due to constant silhouette changes. The decade started with 1961 when the British fashion designer Mary Quant invented miniskirts, and two years later they appeared also in Paris in the fashion collection of André Courrèges. In the 1960s everybody was strongly influenced by the cosmic breaks of the humanity, and this resulted in the origin of the so called “cosmic style” in fashion design, leading role played by Pierre Cardin and Paco Rabanne. Young girls infatuated with the popular songs of The Beatles willingly adopted mini, yet ladies of older age preferred evening gowns of prominent houses of haute couture, which are vastly displayed in the particular exhibition.

The characteristic feature of the 1960s is the development of pret-a-porter (ready-to-wear) clothing, more accessible to a vaster range of connoisseurs of fashion wear. During the second half of the 1960s youth movements flourished. These events lead to the democratization in fashion design. Jeans won victory over dresses. Meantime the expanding hippy movement from California irreversibly ruined the prestige of fashion houses, which did not want to adapt their models to the tastes of the younger generation. Bonnets, little purses and fashion footwear fell out of fashion. They were substituted by long hair, sack bags and sandals. Haute couture experienced creative crisis. In the result the fabulous Balenciaga fashion house was closed, but many other houses lost their clients. The exhibition shows unique fashion clothing worn by two movie stars: Leslie Caron and Lauren Bacall, and the prima ballerina Maya Plisetskaya. Apart from 70 fashion dresses, exhibition viewers will have the possibility to see also accessories: hats, footwear and bags, executed by the best fashion companies of the time. There is also a vast gallery of vintage photographs reflecting different directions in the fashion design of the 1960s.

The particular exhibition has already partially been exhibited in Sidney, Istanbul, St. Petersburg and Moscow. The new variant of the exhibition was on display in Riga, and today for the first time is presented to the viewers in Vilnius.

Alexandre Vassiliev





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