The Ideal Man
Fashion for real men
26 July – 26 October 2008
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag
Is male fashion a quest for the ideal man?
Art director Maarten Spruyt, previously responsible for the design of the exhibitions Hague Court Fashion and Fashion NL, shows in The Ideal Man with selected pieces and photographs from the 17th century until now that men's fashion is anything but boring.
fig.: Production Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, collection Bernhard Willhelm, photography Oof Verschuren, post-production Magic Group.
Therefore Spruyt uses over 150 outfits and accessories in a themed setting such as the three-piece suit, the dinner jacket, sports attire and full-length trousers to enlighten the history of male fashion from the 17th century right through to the present day.
Did you know that full-length trousers were once worn only by labourers and almost never by gentlemen?
Male or female - both identify with certain role models. Through fashion they imitate the ideal image of manhood or femininity. In this exhibition you are invited to follow the question "Is male fashion perhaps a quest for the ideal man?" Find the answer by walking through the galleries where you make the experience that certain themes recur again and again: male fashions are sporty or rebellious, decadent, subject to military influence, or used to radiate power and authority. It's the look of the outfits which change with time, not the message!
Catalogue: the exhibition features Oof Verschuren’s spectacular photographs of new collections by Jean-Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Bernhard Willhelm, Walter van Beirendonck and John Galliano. They are included in the exhibition catalogue published by Waanders. One of the pieces in the publication is written by fashion journalist John de Greef and the book (price: € 19.95) is designed by Roosje Klap. www.gemeentemuseum.nl
fig.: Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, suit worn by François Mitterrand, President of France (1981-1995), Adriano Cifonelli, 1985, photo: Sylvia Korving.