Lace has been a luxury item, sought after by royalty and the aristocracy, since the early 1600s. Fashion has traditionally driven lace production, and in the 17th and 18th centuries the lace trade was a significant contributor to the economies of many European countries.
This exhibition catalogue for a show at MoMu, the Antwerp fashion museum, focuses on the venerable tradition of lace-making in Flanders, but places it within the larger context of the history of lace from the 16th century to the present. Historic pieces from international museums, including the Met (New York), the V&A (London) and the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam) are complemented by contemporary fashion (Van Herpen, Dior, Alaia, Prada, Loewe, Givenchy). These pieces, and their cutting edge production techniques, bring the history of Flemish-made lace up to the 21st century.