Design history: Stretched over carved wooden supports, fine apparel from the four corners of the world is arranged in a sort of brightly-coloured puzzle. A people’s costume reflects its spirit, beliefs and rituals, its customs and traditions, its attitudes and postures. Cloaks, dresses and tunics are unique and universal – like the desire to show ourselves to best effect, in our finest clothes. From north to south, east to west, this finely-balanced design reveals what textiles and techniques around the world have in common. Here and there, amid the linen, silk, cotton and hemp, the batiks, ikats, indigos and embroideries, the multitude of imaginative motifs, we see echoes and similarities. The geometric decorations of South America are remarkably like those adorning the loincloths worn by certain pygmy hunter-gatherers. Timeless, beyond fashion, each piece tells the story of the people who made it.
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