Greinasafni: Söfn
Freedom in Fashion

Freedom in Fashion
Women’s clothing styles from 1947 to 1970 at the National Museum of Iceland
Life had been tough before the end of the 2nd World War in Iceland but independence brought a sense of fresh hope and freedom. Women’s fashions changed. Skillful designers and seamstresses, often inspired by European or American trends created new dresses for women. Each dress is a unique work of art, reflecting the culture of the time.

An exhibit of style and beauty

Brought together in one exhibition, the Tízka collection includes both dresses owned by the National Museum and private collectors. It covers the simple, everyday wear all the way to glamourous gowns and wedding dresses. Most of these dresses were designed for a particular woman, wearing specific underwear to bring out the best in both dress and woman. Some of these couture creations might have only been worn on a single occasion, a dramatic outburst of style for a special event, now long forgotten in history. The beauty of these creations is not forgotten, however, and the styles of these bygone eras is a reminder of the skills of both expert dressmakers and untrained seamstresses. Of course, an ensemble is incomplete if it doesn’t have the right accessories to go with it and these, too, are included in the exhibition so the visitor can imagine the full impact that the wearer made when she made her entrance.

National Costumes made by a craftswomen
Running concurrently is the work of Magnea Þorkelsdóttir. She was married to a former bishop of Iceland and her needlework and designs are of very high quality, earning her a place of great respect for her national costumes. This exhibition shows some of the national costumes she made in her lifetime for both herself and her children.The Icelandic national costume is varied in design but very elegant in its craftsmanship. The attention to detail and the precious metals and stones used in its decoration makes each one not just a work of art but a treasure, also.

A Museum of Icelandic Life

Both exhibitions will be running until the 2nd September in the National Museum of Iceland which can be found close to the National Library and the University of Iceland. The museum carries numerous exhibitions, both temporary and permanent. It offers a fascinating perspective into what makes Iceland today, it’s culture and heritage. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm until 15th September.

Þjóðminjasafn Íslands
Suðurgata 41 • 101 Reykjavík
+354 530 2200


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