Nederlandse Kostuumvereniging

Jaarboek Kostuum 2023


Table of Contents

  1. Anne-Marie Segeren
    Kate Bisschop-Swift (1834-1928)
    Living in the past, preserving for the future

    During her lifetime Kate Bisschop-Swift (1834-1928) was a relatively successful artist as well as a collector and patron. In the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden the major exhibition Christoffel & Kate Bisschop - Longing for the past can be visited until January 7, 2024. A publication of the same name about Kate and her husband is also available.

    Research has shown that, from the last decades of the 19th century, Kate had a particular style of dress. In this style she liked to refer to historical elements of fashion. The article reviews a number of her dresses, which make clear that she combined references to several centuries. Her favourite were imitations of 17th-century slit sleeves. At the same time she would adapt her preference for the past to the time she lived in.

    The article has more to offer than the dresses seen in photographs and painted portraits. Distant relatives of the Bisschop couple discovered a trunk containing the remains of Kate’s wardrobe. This provided a wealth of information about Kate’s manner of wearing and storing her clothes.

    After Christoffel’s decease in 1904, Kate made sure that their entire joint collection of art and antiques would be left to the province of Friesland, where her husband was born. Later she donated a portrait of herself, painted by Christoffel, to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In her will she left large sums to several charity organisations. So, during her life Kate occupied herself with the past as well as taking actions for the future.

  2. Martijn Akkerman
    The ‘bagh’, the ‘carcant’ and ‘portefraes’

    In this article the author discusses some of the jewellery worn by Maria van Voorst van Doorwerth in the portrait painted by Evert Crijnsz. van der Maes in 1608. The painting hangs in the hall of Duivenvoorde Castle in Voorschoten.

    Maria was born around 1574, as the only child from the second marriage of Frederik van Voerst van Doorwerth, councillor of the Court of Gelre and judge in Nijmegen, and Machteld Sasböut van Spaland, daughter of the chancellor of Gelre and Zutphen. Maria spent part of her childhood in Antwerp. In 1601 she married Johan van Wassenaer ende Duvenvoirde (1577-1645), who would soon hold a number of important government positions and lived at Duivenvoorde Castle. By descent and marriage, Maria belonged to the highest circles in Holland at that time and her clothing and jewellery in the portrait are in accordance with this.

    After Maria's death on December 16, 1610, an inventory of her possessions was drawn up, listing, among other things, her jewellery. This inventory, together with the portrait, constitutes a valuable source for jewellery researchers.

    In the portrait, Maria is carrying a fan with a silver handle. Around her neck is a pearl necklace that is held together at chest height by a so-called ‘bagh' or ‘bague’. On the left sleeve she wears a 'carcant' or ‘carcan’, a necklace with rubies and pearls normally worn tightly around the neck, but because of her wide pleated collar has to be worn on the arm. Not visible in the portrait is the support of metal wire, the 'portefraes' (underpropper), which keeps the ruff in its position.

  3. Ileen Montijn
    ‘No-nonsense couturier’
    Charles Montaigne and the Netherlands, 1950-1972

    The article is a sequel to the one in Kostuum 2022 about the rise and success of Charles Montaigne (1900-1989). Born as Karel Meuwese in Tilburg, he was trained as a men’s tailor, and worked for years with the eminent fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet in Paris before opening his own house as a designer and full-fledged member of the Chambre Syndicale de la haute couture in 1940.

    In his palatial quarters on Rue Royale he employed hundreds of seamstresses. But he realised that the necessarily high prices of haute couture constituted a risk for the future. Being as much a businessman as a designer, Montaigne from 1950 tirelessly searched for means to expand the market for his couture. Links with his country of birth came in useful. Thus, he produced designs for Dutch clothing companies, and cooperated with textile manufacturers. Montaigne was regularly mentioned in Dutch newspapers and ladies’ magazines as ‘our own man’ in the capital of fashion, always with the comment that his clothes were eminently wearable.

    In 1951, Montaigne presented his first proper couture show in the Netherlands, in cooperation with a respected fur shop (specialised in sealskin) in Groningen, to great acclaim. That same year he launched a daring initiative by selling paper patterns of his own designs both in the Netherlands and internationally. It was a limited success, as were his careful ventures (in common with other couturiers) into ready-to-wear territory.

    In the 1960s Charles Montaigne was no longer a significant name in Paris couture. In the Netherlands, his fame rested largely on the couture sewing school he started in Amsterdam in 1953. It offered a wide range of courses both for professionals and young women with time on their hands, and had a solid reputation. But the enormous changes in the world of fashion left Montaigne behind. In 1972, Charles Montaigne, aged 72, closed the doors of his couture house.

  4. Fleur Dingen
    Her Stylish Highness: in the high-heeled footsteps of Wallis Simpson

    Wallis Simpson was one of the most controversial women of the 20th century. Not only did she bring the British monarchy to the brink of collapse as a result of her relationship with King Edward VII, her sublime style of dress was also found fascinating and turned her into a style icon.

    Wallis was the epitome of simple elegance, of sharp lines without any fuss, which emphasized her slender body. On the other hand shoes were a way for Wallis to abandon her severe style. A pair of evening sandals by the American manufacturer Andrew Geller, which is part of the collection of the Schoenenkwartier in the Dutch city of Waalwijk, reveal that the shoes Wallis wore were much more comely, decorative and feminine than her clothes.

  5. Judith van Amelsvoort
    Historical costumes in the preHistoric Dorp Eindhoven

    The preHistoric Dorp (preHistoric Village) is a historical open air museum in Eindhoven. It is ‘inhabited’ by volunteers representing people from prehistoric times to the late Middle Ages. They wear ‘historical’ dress, demonstrate ancient crafts and tell visitors about their time periods. All volunteers wear historically correct dress made by the museum’s own sewing workshop. Here costumes are meticulously reconstructed, using natural materials and historical techniques from the various time periods. Previous to the reconstructions sources are thoroughly studied, from archaeological finds to ancient writings from the Netherlands and in particular from even more northern regions.

    The preHistoric Dorp is closed during winter. In that period the museum prepares for the new season and there is space and time for research. For the making of new dress reconstructions the museum regularly works together with other cultural institutions. Specially for the readers of the Kostuum Yearbook each of a number of eleven villagers tells about his or her own historical dress.

  6. Rosalie Sloof
    “With such a fragment of clothing in my hands, I admire the way it is made”
    Honorary member Sandra Comis

    During the celebration of the Dutch Costume Society’s 40th anniversary in 2022, Sandra Comis, the Society’s treasurer, was surprised by receiving an honorary membership. From 2008 she had been one of the driving forces behind the Costume Society. The varied work is very demanding where her time is concerned, but nevertheless it still gives her a lot of satisfaction.

    Sandra is an authority in the field of archaeological textile in the Netherlands. By 1980, when she studied Prehistoric Times, she found herself faced with archaeological textile; that was the first time this happened and ever since it has been part of her life. During her long research career Sandra has examined much of the Dutch history of dress ‘from the bottom’. She also mentored various dress reconstructions and conducted research in Germany and Scotland. She stands in great awe of the professionality shown in the often incomplete and damaged fragments, which might reveal secrets only under her microscope.

    Round 1980 several expeditions organised by the Arctic Centre of Groningen University, returned with valuable material, amongst which were fragments of workers’ clothes from the graves and dwellings of Dutch whalers at Spitsbergen, Norway. In 2017 Sandra finished her long-expected thesis on these finds of clothing from the17th and 18th century. Research for this took mainly place in her own time.

    She published a book of ca. 500 pages, filled with an impressive number of drawings, measurements and descriptions, which enabled her to reconstruct a particular part of the daily life of Dutchmen working in foreign parts. She is still proud of this contribution to Dutch costume history.

    The thesis gave her the opportunity to give lectures and meet a new audience. Sandra feels happy about the interest there is in textile archaeology, whereas research always has to put up with tight budgets and lack of time. She also welcomes the increasing interest re-enactment circles show for making meticulous dress reconstructions.

  7. Emmy Schrempft
    Jenny Hazenberg (1940-1996), the first living work of art in Amsterdam
    Being authentic is necessary and makes an impression

    painter at the AKI (Academy for Art and Industry) in the Dutch city of Enschede. She lived in a world of visual art and became a living work of art herself.

    Just as an artist paints on canvas, Jenny painted her outfits. She used, amongst others, stretch fabric and plastic, which she sprayed with paint. Jenny was inspired by the draperies in medieval paintings and the clothing she saw when travelling in Morocco. She loved decay, the holes in frayed and faded textiles. The combination of past and future fascinated her too: images from ancient cultures combined with science fiction elements. Later, Jenny identified herself with the tall, erotic female figures by the painter H.R. Giger and the dark, destructive atmosphere around his Gothic figures.

    At an early stage Jenny realised that the best way to present what she wanted to show, would be her own appearance as a work of art. She created a unique image of beauty and compared the human body to architecture. ‘The human body is a beautiful construction and the beauty of this construction deserves to be accentuated.’ This is what she called ‘body architecture’.

    She designed and made her clothes herself, had followers and expected to exert influence on fashion designers: ‘In my art all cultures from past and future come together.’ In 1971 she won a prize at the Paris Biennale, where she demonstrated the versatility of pieces of fabric, in what different ways you may wear them and how elegant such an ensemble will look. She was invited by several art galleries in Paris, and also did performances in a number of them in Amsterdam, such as Siau and Amok.

    As the first living work of art in Amsterdam she was a familiar figure in the city’s streets. The playful, self-willed, crazy, daring, colourful birds of paradise are threatened by extinction. In our time Jenny Hazenberg deserves the recognition also given to other women in the arts.

  8. Jacco Hooikammer
    “Now everything is as good as gone”
    A documentation report about the traditional dress of Noordwijk

    This article is a publication of a field report about the traditional costume of Noordwijk, a village on the North Sea coast of The Netherlands, preceded by a short introduction by Jacco Hooikammer. The report was written in 1955 by Jan Duyvetter, then fashion curator at the Nederlands Openluchtmuseum (the Dutch Open Air Museum) in Arnhem.

    As daily dress the traditional costume of Noordwijk had almost disappeared in 1955. In his report Jan Duyvetter writes about the clothes of the women still wearing it then, and what they used to wear in the past.

    The article presents the full field report as well as the photographs taken by museum photographer Bouke Lukkien in 1955. The aim of the article is to communicate the documentation of the traditional costume of Noordwijk and showcase the rich sources of information that can be found in old field surveys which have never been published.

  9. Marije Blaasse
    Jacques Griffe, forgotten master of Haute Couture
    An evening dress from the collection of the Kunstmuseum Den Haag

    Jacques Griffe used to be mentioned in one breath with Dior, but nowadays there is just a handful of fashion lovers to whom his name sounds familiar.

    Jacques Griffe (1909-1996) learnt dressmaking at his mother’s knee and she stimulated him to start a career as a couturier. In 1963 he could start working in the dressmaker’s workshop of Madeleine Vionnet in Paris. He worked there under the supervision of the Dutchman Karel Meuwese, aka Charles Montaigne, who set up his own couture house in 1940. At Vionnet’s Griffe learned the precision of cutting, designing without seams and moulage of fabrics cut on the bias.

    In 1942 Griffe opened his own couture house at the Place Gaillon, with only two seamstresses. In 1947 his house moved to the Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré and he became a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Besides couture Griffe also designed costumes for the theatre and for films, and he created four different perfumes. After taking over the fashion house of Edward Molyneux on the Rue Royale, he belonged to the established French couturiers. Jacques Griffe was famous for his evening dresses, the elegant folds, plissés and smocking of which were his trade mark.

    Griffe’s designs may be found in museum collections worldwide. Fifteen of his couture designs, from the stylish wardrobe of the Dutch mezzo-soprano Else Rijkens, are in the Kunstmuseum Den Haag. One of her ravishing evening dresses of black silk taffeta shows the master’s eye for handling the fabric. The undulating, ample folds of the skirt are filled with strips of crin (horse hair) and in a subtle way fan out ever larger towards the hem of the dress.

    Even though we may no longer know Jacques Griffe by name, we recognise the master’s hand when looking at his designs. Their cut is seemingly simple and they are made of superbly handled fabrics in classic colours. All this makes his elegant creations timeless.

  10. Patricia Verbree
    Leiden maidservants and their dress 1762-1796

    During the Covid period many things came to a standstill, also where my company was concerned. As I wanted to do something useful and had long felt the wish to learn more about 18th-cenury dress, I started reading household inventories and processing their data in the period 1761-1810, which can be found on the website Erfgoed Leiden en Omstreken (Heritage Leiden and its surrounding area).

    During the data processing I asked myself the following questions: are there any remarkable details and could I translate those to the dress found in Dutch museums and depots? How did Leiden go along with fashion and what did people wear?

    My eye was caught by the fact that, amongst more than 2000 inventories there was a number of descriptions of inventories of maidservants and a housekeeper. Maidservants are mentioned in inventories when they inherit from their employers. But, since they themselves apparently could be sufficiently well-to-do to leave household affairs which were precious enough to be described, I decided to investigate this further.

    My short investigation makes clear that five maidservants and a housekeeper possessed a whole range of pieces of clothing and accessories. It is often said that women in the 18th century did not wear underpants. This is in contrast to what I discovered, which is that well-to-do maidservants did wear them. Which of course is not to say that this goes for maidservants in general.

    Here is no conclusive evidence to be got from the results of this investigation: the number of inventories which were looked into, is too small. Further research will be needed -  and not only into the Leiden inventories - in order to answer my questions conclusively.

  11. Maaike Feitsma, Leslie Eisinger en Lorenzo Masini
    Keeping it Local: 3D-knitted fishermen’s jerseys for today’s communities

    Keeping it Local is a research project of the Lectorate of Fashion Research & Technology at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (Amsterdam Institute of Higher Education). In this ‘living lab’ research is done into co-creation, local production in an urban environment and sustainable consumer behaviour. We make 3D-knitted jerseys, inspired by those fishermen traditionally wore. Just like their traditional predecessors, these jerseys tell the story of local communities: the only commercial Amsterdam North Sea fisherman Hendrik Kramer and his crew, students of the department of Cultural Heritage at the Reinwardt Academy, ICT students at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam and fashion students at the AMFI (Amsterdam Fashion Institute).

    By a mixture of traditional and computer-generated patterns the jerseys speak of Amsterdam life and the future of fishing, fashion industry, ICT and cultural heritage in the year 2023. They are designed for, and in co-operation with the said communities.

    Our production chain is established at the Amstel Campus of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam; it includes design, production and sales. We follow our consumers in order to find out how they ‘treat’ their jerseys after buying them. Would such a jersey, made by and for you, result in closer emotional ties with your very own one, and hence in a more sustainable behaviour in dress?

    Using an advanced 3D knitting technique enables us to produce the jerseys locally and to order. This prevents over-production and possible waste of unsold jerseys; because of this the shop has only fitting models. Customers can walk in to take a close look, touch and fit the jerseys and order them. After this the jersey will be knitted specially for the wearer.

    Our production chain is not only completely run by the project, it is also ‘ultra-local’. The distance between the designers’ workshop, the 3D-Knitlab where the jerseys are made and the University Store where they are sold, is only 300 metres. This allows us to experiment in a lifelike environment and ‘push the buttons’ in each of the chain’s stages, in order to see where and how we may make this project more sustainable.