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M_Others – Hasselt Fashion Museum, Belgium

14 Jun — 6 Jan 2025



Mothers, mother figures, mentors and family ties are intimately intertwined with fashion history. Many designers reach back to the style of their mother’s day, but mum ’s themselves are also a big source of inspiration: from mum jeans to mini-mes, the mum style is a flourishing branch of modern fashion. Symbolic fashion mothers, such as Jeanne Lanvin, Madeleine Vionnet and Sonia Rykiel, made an artistic mark on the creations of their contemporaries and are still influencing present-day designers.

Historically, clothing concealed the changing bodies of expectant mothers. From 1900 onward, however, there was a growing appreciation of the cultural identity of mothers, both in fashion and in society. In 20th and 21st century fashion, this culminated in a veritable celebration of mothers and mother figures.

From the Blessed Virgin, to contemporary fashion experiments that debunk stereotypes, to the testimonies of non-binary parents, surrogacy parents and adoptive parents, from Christian Dior’s New Look to the designs of Jacquemus and the regal women who carry of South African Thebe Magugu: the mother figure as a source of inspiration and creativity in fashion is back from… never having left?

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