Fashion & Textile

A mulberry leaf, something so small, something so humble, something that lives in silence, and… despite all the odds, mulberry leaves would contribute to shape the world through centuries and across cultures.

Image on the left: Morus, from Plantarum Medico-Oeconomico-Technologicarum cum Earum Fructus ususque Descriptione (1800–1822), by Ferdinand Bernhard Vietz (1772-1815).

Image on the right: The Caterpillars’ Marvelous Transformation and Strange Floral Food, first volume, published 1679, by Maria Sibylla Merian (1647 – 1717).

What this section is about

It could be anything and everything to do with silk, cotton, linen and other materials. Tales of historical costumes, fashion, the trade, the tools, the figures connected to it, its challenging and cruel side, its representation in paintings and media.

Tales of colour, luxury, decadence and inequality.

‘You fill it with birds, as many as you can, then one day, when something lovely happens to you, you open the doors and watch them fly away.’ (Hervé Joncour, french silkworm merchant).

Silk – Alessandro Baricco