from the Dutch Indies, 1849
White clothing is traditionally associated with innocence, purity and youth: christening and bridal gowns, the first ball gown and the dresses worn by debutantes. At times, white has also enjoyed a more general vogue, as during the Empire period, when fashions were influenced by the contemporary admiration for the white marble sculptures of classical Rome. In the 20th century, it was the colour's ability to reflect the sun, the influence of sport and of moon landings, and the sparkling fairytale glamour of white that inspired its use in fashion. This exhibition will present dazzling and intriguing costumes dating from the 18th century to the present day.