Fashion, Style and History – A Visit to The Textile Museum St Gallen
The Textile Museum St Gallen
The Textile Museum is located in the beautiful city of Sankt Gallen, just an hour’s drive from Zurich. The city is known for its world-renowned textile industry, which was responsible for Switzerland’s most important exported products in the mid-nineteenth century. The Museum houses thousands of exhibits, from antique lace found in Egyptian Coptic tombs to modern Swiss textiles and lots more.
The museum is divided into four part. The first two sections are on the Sankt Gallen textile industry today and embroidery and textile art. Then there is the breathtaking Robes Politiques exhibition, which is about the power of fashion, as depicted by strong women through the centuries. Lastly, there is an interactive display of materials and ways in which clothes are made, and the impact of these practices on the environment.
Sankt Gallen Fashion Industry Today
The first part of the exhibition displays the Sankt Gallen fashion industry as it is today. It is full of modern, extravagant clothing designs, created by the city’s fashion designers. Visitors are also able to admire a beautiful, antique loom, and a video with an explanation of how it works. It is a great display explaining how the clothing industry and fashion itself has changed over the years.
The Closing Industry & Fabric & Embroidery
The second part of the exhibition takes you on a journey through the history of various fabrics, embroidery and the clothing industry as a whole. Visitors can enjoy interacting with the textiles and admire the beauty of different types of lace and embroidery masterpieces. The amazing patterns and vibrant colours of countless linens and the handicraft and skill required to create them are extremely impressive.
How Clothes are Produced
The last part of the museum shows the different ways of producing clothes. Visitors are able to touch and take a really close look at the materials, to see what fabrics they are made of, whether it be wool or cotton or a range of synthetic substitutes.
Through other interactive devices such as videos and diagrams, the exhibition also addresses the issue of sustainability in the fashion industry. In a very clear and interesting way, it discusses the problem of tons of clothes being wasted all over the world, and suggests some alternative ways of how we as individuals can help improve the situation.
Robes Politiques Exhibition
When I visited the museum the Robes Politiques, exhibition was taking place. It is an exhibition about fashion and women’s power which runs until 6th February 2022. It was created to mark the 50th anniversary of Swiss women receiving their voting rights in 1971. The exhibition centres on the idea of how women, over the centuries, have been overshadowed by men. However, through fashion and status they have made an impact on the world. From the original outfits of the former Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, to Princess Diana and Jackie Kennedy, the museum manages to show how their iconic and unforgettable clothing choices established their place in the world’s history as powerful, strong women.
Switzerland’s Female Politicians & Their Clothing Choices
From the wide range of European female fashion icons, there is also a section on Switzerland’s very own female politicians and how their clothing corresponds to and influences their public image and the things they stand for.
The Textile Museum St Gallen – A Perfect Day Out
The Textile Museum is a great opportunity to learn about some Swiss history and its connection to the world’s history and development. The exhibition simply has it all; beautiful handmade fabrics, a strong message about current issues such as feminism and gender equality as well as a take on sustainability and our global future. It’s a great trip for the whole family, and a great destination not too far from Zurich.
The Textile Museum St Gallen / Textilmuseum St. Gallen
Address: Vadianstrasse 2, 9000 St. Gallen
Tel: 071 228 00 10
This Article was written and researched by Marianna Sobotkowska
Photos courtesy of Textilmuseum St Gallen
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