Fashion from Behind: A Visit to Brussels’ Fashion and Lace Museum

If you’ve ever read one of my fashion show reviews, you would know I hold a special place in my heart for garments that are impactful from the back. The front is important but I love to see something exciting when the model turns. I also love when a fashion show photo captures the back of the model who is going back in while the focus is on the front of the garment which just came out. And think about how sexy a backless dress looks and feels.

Unfortunately, many designers neglect the back. It’s understandable, I guess. When you talk to someone, you’re looking at the front. When a garment hangs in the store, you see the front first. Also, the wearer doesn’t see their back in its entirety in the mirror.

However, and this is a big however, the onlooker sees it all. Fashion is very much about the wearer but it’s also meant to make other people feel something. It says something about the wearer to whoever else is around or looking at a photograph later. You would think that designers would think about the full 360-degree look but that isn’t always the case.

A Tribute to the Back Side

This is where Back Side: Fashion from Behind comes in. It’s a temporary exhibition on at the Museum of Fashion and Lace in Brussels and I’m really happy I got to see it before it ends in March, 2019. It brings together garments from museums and couture design houses and the focus is on the back. Jean Paul Gaultier, Chanel, Azzedine Alaïa, and Elsa Schiaparelli are among the designers whose looks are featured.

This isn’t my usual type of blog post but I hope these photos inspire you. If you’re a designer, think more about how your pieces look from the back. If you just wear clothes everyday, think about how you look from every angle and not just the front. Whether you’re trying on something in the dressing room or getting dressed in the morning, remember the back side!

If you get the chance, be sure to visit the Museum of Fashion and Lace and view the exhibit. You can also visit the Lace Room which focuses on the history and manufacture of lace. Among the items on display are rare pieces of Brussels lace.

The Museum of Fashion and Lace is located on Rue de la Violette, a quiet street close to the bustling Grand Place.

Natasha Beckles

Natasha Beckles is a freelance copyeditor, writer and content creator. She has over a decade's experience in both traditional and online media. In addition to blogging about fashion and travel, she uses the written word to help brands and individuals tell their unique stories.

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2 Responses

  1. Krystal says:

    Looks like a fun place to visit! We are planning to visir Brussels soon and will have to check this out.

    • Natasha Beckles says:

      If you love fashion, it’s a must! And it wasn’t crowded when I went so you can take your time and see everything.

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