The new Fashion and Textile Museum in Portugal will open on May 20, in Vila Nova de Gaia, in the district of Porto. With a cost 10 million euros, the construction of the project took place in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic.
The new space will present “Fashion & Design” in an area of about two thousand square meters organized into two floors, which was born in the new WOW (World of Wine) block, in the heart of the historic center of Vila Nova de Gaia, next to the Port Wine Cellars.
It was a Herculean task to put the museum together in the middle of the pandemicCatarina Jorge, Museum Coordinator
The first floor focuses on the textile industry in Portugal, where visitors can learn about the importance of this sector in the development of the Northern region of Portugal, as well as in the national economy. Visitors will find a timeline with the most relevant chronological moments in the history of the Portuguese textile industry from the 16th century to the present day.
Visitors can also find a shuttle loom from the 1910’s, illuminated advertisements alluding to old textile factories, linen seeds, and the remains of the old Textile Riopele and Textile Manuel Gonçalves factories, in which one can see yarn bobbins, thread tension meters, drafting machines, fabric samples, and a trend book.
Still on the first floor of the Fashion Museum there are several workshops and a showcase, which reveal the production processes from spinning, spinning, weaving, dyeing, to making and displaying. In that section, two short films, made by Arts students from the University of Beira, related to the textile industry, are shown.
The second floor is dedicated to Portuguese designer fashion, national footwear and filigree (a Portuguese art of welding fine metal wires in order to compose a design). There, the visitor will be able to appreciate iconic pieces by Portuguese designers, from the 80s of the last century, to the present day.
There is a space dedicated to Portuguese designers who are pioneers in current fashion, with works by Eduarda Abbondanza and Mário Matos Ribeiro, Ana Salazar, José António Tenente, João Tomé and Francisco Pontes or Manuela Gonçalves. Another room focuses on nationally and internationally renowned designers, where you can see works by designers such as Miguel Vieira, Luís Buchinho, Nuno Baltazar, Fátima Lopes, Maria Gambina, Filipe Faísca, Luís Carvalho, Anabela Baldaque, Diogo Miranda, Hugo Costa, Alexandra Moura, Ricardo Preto, and Carlos Gil, among others.
The museum also has room for emerging young designers, discovered through the Bloom and Sangue Novo (New Blood) platforms, of the fashion events Portugal Fashion and Moda Lisboa, respectively, such as Estelita Mendonça and Gonçalo Peixoto.
One of the highlights of the project coordinator of the Fashion Museum falls on a room of “curiosities of Portuguese fashion”, where one can discover, for example, a pair of “fish slippers”, in rubber, by designer Lidija Kolovrat, a vintage hem gauge, pieces to open seams, a porcelain wig by Nuno Gama. It also shows a shell and bone necklace with crystals by Ricardo Preto, a knitted backpack by Susana Bettencourt, and sneakers made with natural and artificial hair by Olga Noronha, among other curiosities.
All six museums are bathed by the Douro River and are built in the new WOW, in the middle of the historical area of the city of Vila Nova de Gaia. The Fashion and Textile Museum, as well as the other museums of the WOW, are conducting protocols with schools in the region in order to promote knowledge and bring visitors to the museums.
The ideal thing is for them to come and visit to understand all the complexity and all the density of knowledge that we have in the museumCatarina Jorge, Museum Coordinator
Catarina Jorge is proud that during the year of the pandemic it was possible to build the new Fashion and Textile Museum. The opening of the Fashion and Textile Museum was scheduled for November 28, 2020, but due to coronavirus-related measures, the inauguration was postponed to December 12, and was postponed again to 2021.