Exhibition “Collectionner la mode, de la malle au musée (1750-1950)”

As a true anthem to the expertise of textile craftspeople and French accessories makers, this unprecedented exhibtion will give you the opportunity to feast your eyes upon sumptuous items of women fashion from the 18th to the 20th century.

This journey through French fashion and clothing history pays tribute to the extraordinary collection of two great French collectors: Eric Girardon and Gilles Labrosse. Their unique collection has been scattered around the world since 2020. This exhibition reunites once more part of this collection with 150 pieces of clothing and accessories, thanks to the generous donations of private collectors and the iconographical participation of major museums. Abundantly documented, the archives, photographs, books and exhibition posters show the international aura of this collection presented in major exhibitions in France and abroad.


« Fashion runway »

More than a hundred years of fashion history can be discovered through a set-up presenting feminine outfits dating back from 1840 to 1970, echoing social classes’ customs of the time, both in Paris and in provinces. This exceptional timeline, witness of how shape evolved in fashion, allows a better understanding of the different movements and mutations of fashion, the materials, the “trendy” lines and innovations from each era. 


Prestigious pieces

This collection regroups many treasures coming from important aristocratic families as well as the most refined Parisian Haute-Couture houses. Among them, there are prestigious pieces from exceptional origins: a casaquin and mules from the Countess du Barry, a dress coming from the Beauharnais family or the transformation dress of Queen Amélie of Portugal.

You will also find pieces from great fashion houses (still existing or forgotten), represented by brands such as Lanvin, Maison Roger, Maison Vignon, Madame Laferrière or Raudnitz, or if we look more recently, Michel Goma. 


A look backstage

The exhibition unveils what happens behind the scene of a costume exhibition, a subject rarely discussed, allowing you to discover the expertise needed to put clothing on mannequins in the most respectful way possible to ensure an optimal conservation of the costumes.

Based on vintage models, petticoats, crinolines, crawfish-tail bustles, side hoops, but also arms and paddings are used to reveal the many tricks that can shape a silhouette.


// Organization : Cultural centre of the former Abbaye des Prémontrés with Elise Barat, collector and antique fashion historian. //

Around the exhibition

· Game leaflets and autonomous activities for children that will allow them to discover the exhibition in a fun way.

· Guided tour of the exhibition - On Wednesdays and Sundays (at 4 P.M.) To know more +

· Linocut and printing on fabric workshop - June 14th (at 2 P.M.) > To know more +

· Apero'expo - June 16th (at 6:30 P.M.) To know more +

· "Vegetal dyes : introduction to indigo and shibori" course - June 18th (10 A.M.) > To know more +

· Dried flower crowns workshop  - June 18th (2 P.M.) > To know more +

· "The magic of colours" activity - July 5th (at 2 P.M.) > To know more +

· "Discovering the weaving loom" workshop - July 12th, August 9th and 16th (at 2 P.M.) > To know more +

· "Stylist for a day" activity - July 15th, July 22nd, August 5th and August 12th (at 10 A.M.) > To know more +

· "Introduction to vegetal dyeing techniques" course - September 23rd (at 9 A.M.) > To know more +

· "Emilie du Châtelet, une marquise avant-gardiste ou Petit aperçu du marché du luxe au XVIIIe siècle" conference - September 24th (10:30 A.M.)  > To know more +

· Fashion Day - September 24th (from 11 A.M. to 6 P.M.)


// Organization : Cultural centre of the former Abbaye des Prémontrés.//


Group and school tours

For each group, a time slot is booked, either for a guided tour or an open visit, in order to offer the best possible conditions to discover the exhibition.

The school public is welcome for pedagogical and recreational visits adapted to the age of the students. The cultural center offers a pedagogical file for the teachers on demand.

Send a request

Exhibition catalog

Preface by Christian Lacroix. Introduction by Françoise Tétard-Vittu.

Richely illustrated book evoking the collection "La Mode retrouvée" of Eric Girardon et Gilles Labrosse, as well as 200 years panorama of fashion history and a look into preservation, restoration and exhibition techniques.

This catalog is avalaible to buy at the Abbaye des Prémontrés and online.

To know more