Knappar och Vibskov

The event last night was so great--we anticipated 12 people for a roundtable discussion on Early Modern textiles and buttons...and had at least thirty clothing historians from Skansen, Uppsala University's Textile History program, and other affiliations.

We took a short tour of the costume on display in a permanent exhibition about the belongings of those who were onboard when the Vasa sank, which can be considered the best or most complete examples of clothing, shoes, hats, stockings, etc. There are, however, more than 2,000 textile pieces that have been identified as dress-related, and we got to explore the tip of that iceberg. We saw what Fred Hocker, Director of Archeological and Historical Research at the museum, calls "the lurid purple trousers", small lengths of lace edging and silk band, and one quarter of a pair of wool breeches with gathering still intact. We looked at a few buttons as well, a few representatives in metal, glass and wood, in descending order of incidence.

Of course, we ran (way) over, as this was a really special occasion for both the museum and the attendees, maybe the start of a few new collaborations and research projects? I'm sure they would have been happy to peek at all the edges, buttonholes, and lace bits well into the wee hours...

I was glad to have the opportunity to talk about these little objects--in Swedish, may I add--but the event also introduced me to a few people I was hoping to meet, including Martin Ciszuk, faculty at the renowned Swedish School of Textiles in Borås, and involved with Durán Textiles, who have a beautiful website and a stunning blog.

I also got to meet Cecilia Aneer, faculty in Textile Science and History here at Uppsala University, who among other excellent work has written a book on the construction and decoration of extant garments belonging to the Swedish regents, 1600-1635. I flipped through quickly last night and I can't wait to read it!

I'm hoping to have fika with both of them in the future to learn a bit more about being a costume historian here in Sweden.

Runway, Henrik Vibskov, photo courtesy HV Gruppen and here.
In other news, Danish designer Henrik Vibskov has just won a prize here in Sweden, and this exhibit is going up on Saturday as a result. I wish it weren't all the way on the other side of the country! I hope I get to see it before it closes, a good a reason as any to go to Göteborg. Dagens Nyheter has this article today, calling him "modeskapare" instead of "modedesigner": fashion creator, not fashion designer. Sounds like an appropriate distinction...