Friday, October 11, 2013

The Worldwide textile trade, 1500-1800

GLOBE ExhPage2I would first like to thank Mary Flanagan for the lovely invitation to be one of the first to see the Interwoven Globe exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I was very excited to learn about the worldwide textile trade from 1500 to 1800. As I’ve said before, we must learn to appreciate exactly how fashion works. To be able to see the fabulous history of textile is amazing.

From the Met Museum website:

“Textiles had been traded between Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe for hundreds of years, primarily along lengthy overland routes. In the mid-fifteenth century, the fragmentation of the Mongol Empire triggered heightened instability along the vast Silk Road. European trade with Asia also suffered after 1453, when the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople. In the face of these disruptions, Europeans set sail in search of an ocean route to the Spice Islands of Southeast Asia and found valuable exotic textiles along the way. The newly discovered sea routes directly connecting Europe to the rest of the world enabled the creation of the first truly global trading community. As Europeans found that textiles were welcome currency for other goods (including human cargo in appalling numbers), the scope of the textile trade expanded significantly.”

While l was visiting the exhibition, l truly felt in love with each piece there. The energy was so strong; it was absolutely high fashion. The textures were almost speaking with so much life. With the powerful colors and style, it was like being back in time – a time of luxury and richness. This incredible exhibition is showing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until January 5, 2014.


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