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Prato Textile museum

From 11 February to 27 May 2018, the Prato Textile Museum presents an accurate selection of men’s and women’s costumes designed by Milena Canonero for the film Marie Antoinette (2006), directed by American director Sofia Coppola.

The costumes used on set, hailed by critics as the best cinematographic reinterpretation ever made of 18th century clothing, are the result of the extraordinary work carried out by world-renowned costume designer Milena Canonero, who in 2007 received an Oscar for this production.

The exhibition opens with a section dedicated to the figure of Marie Antoinette. A multimedia installation retraces not only the most significant stages of her life, but also recounts the social context in which she lived and above all her great love for fashion. Her public image results from the imagination of the best French artisans: sumptuous dresses, refined accessories, extravagant wigs and precious jewels defined her style, imitated not only by the noblewomen at Versailles, but by all the European courts.

From this historical presentation, the exhibition continues in the great hall that welcomes over 20 male and female costumes worn by the lead characters in the film and owned by the tailoring archive. From the daytime winter dress worn by the lead actor, to the departure from the court of Vienna, to the dress made up of a bustier and double panier of the famous French dressing scene; from the costumes worn by Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI for the coronation, to those sported during the meetings with the Duke of Fersen and Madame du Barry, up to those of the scenes of the escape from Versailles.

The hall of the Museum is transformed into an architectural composition that seeks to evoke the great halls of Versailles, with hanging frames and an imposing stepped staircase, a metaphor for the success and drama experienced by the queen. At the center of the large platform a projection recreates an outdoor space that recalls the Trianon gardens, an environment so dear to Marie Antoinette.
At the end of the exhibition some frames from the film create a visual link with the costumes, evoking the feelings conveyed by Sofia Coppola’s majestic film.