Today saw the first day of ‘Made in Mexico’ at the Fashion and Textiles Museum. As always the museum had completely transformed itself to fit the theme of the exhibition, with a heated palette of hot coral and mustard yellow cooled by a pool of aqua blue running throughout the space.
The exhibition itself focusses on the traditional Mexican garment, The Rebozo. Similar to a shawl or scarf, the rich history the Rebozo embodies highlights the style and culture prior to the Spanish conquest and before imported goods were readily available in Mexico. The importance of this garment to Mexican culture is evident in claims including “it should be the flag of Mexico”.
Rebozo’s are traditionally created on back strap looms and continue to be made through this method. Design Motifs on the Rebozo display the daily life of the wearer with Ikat being one of the most widely recognised patterns. During the colonial era different communities were encouraged to develop their own weave and style to help communicate by defining their area through dress. More recently the shawl was brought to fame by artist Frida Kahlo in the 20th century.
At the end of the exhibition Rebozos could be seen being made using the traditional method and if you were feeling flush, you could get your very own for between £400 for a plain colour to £600 for a silk version.
Rebozo artisans are becoming rare and an effort is being made to preserve the heritage of this garment. Lila Downs, a popular singer-songwriter in Mexico, does her bit by wearing the Rebozo on stage, at the same time highlighting her heritage.
Above all, the exhibition highlights the importance of traditional garments in art, culture and fashion.
The exhibition runs until the 31st August 2014.
Further reading, here.