Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Exhibition - Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion at La Triennale, Milan

For the past year I have been working towards co-ordinating a very special exhibition in Milan. My friends Cristina Barreto and Martin Lancaster started collecting original clothing from 1790 to 1820 over ten years ago. Their collection not only comprised of clothing but also accessories, jewellery and fashion plates. In 2008 I helped them to dress a small exhibition in Sarzana, Italy. After this finished the goal was to make a bigger exhibition that showed the clothes not as just museum items but to give a sense of the actual fashion and the way they could have possibly be worn.

Last year Martin and Cristina found a wonderful exhibition space in their home city of Milan at La Triennale. Since the first small exhibition the collection had grown steadily so there was the possibility to show at least 50 fully dressed mannequins completely accessorised with original items. When the exhibition date was finally set for June 15th 2010 it was all systems go to get everything ready. Apart from the co-ordination of the exhibition, I was asked to make the support items for the dresses and write a chapter for the exhibition catalogue about the evolution of the cut of the clothes.

I would really like to take this oportunity to thank Martin and Cristina for giving me this opportunity to work on an amazing exhibition.
Phil Thomason's photos of the exhibition can be seen here too,
All photos are copywrite of Phil Thomason, Martin Lancaster and Cristina Barreto. No images should be used without their permission.


ausnapoleon said...

Hi Natalie, Congratulations on a GREAT blog. I have really enjoyed reading and will follow in the future. We both share an interest in the Napoleonic period. I collect and if interested you can see my wed site at An item of particular interest to you might be an embroidery panel I recently 'found' in a small auction house in NYC that has turned out to be the back panel from the throne Napoleon was crowned King of Italy on.
Again, congrats on a fascinating blog!
Ken - Sydney, Australia

Lizzie said...

Absolutely fabulous exhibition. Worth all the hard work. Well done Natalie. Christina and Martin have a truly awesome collection.

Fichu1800 said...

Thank you for your comments.

Anonymous said...

How exciting! Do you know how to obtain an exhibition catalogue?

Fichu1800 said...

@ dawnluck. The English version of the catalogue should be published by Skira in September. I believe it will be available on

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful exhibition! Thank you for the link to the photos and the video on YouTube.

Nicklancaster said...

Here is the official website for the exhibition

ZipZipInkspot said...

How could I have missed the fact that you were part of the exhibition team? Just put two and two together now, months later.

Loved the online photos. If only the show would travel to the U.S.

Many thanks,