The precious Eighteen-Century textiles and the costumes from Sophia Coppola’s movie Marie Antoniette

Two fantastic exhibitions to let yourself be carried away by the splendour of Eighteen-Century textiles and clothing

From 14 May 2017 to 27 May 2018

Bookable services

The Prato Museum of Textile is hosting two awe-inspiring spring exhibitions whose displays complement one another. This is a must-see opportunity if you are passionate about historical period costumes and the antique textiles used to make them. First to kick-off in May 2017 was ‘Whimsy and Reason. Elegance in Eighteen-Century Europe' with a display of 18th Century costumes that are juxtaposed with a series of contemporary objects such as porcelains, accessories, books and paintings. It will remain open until 29 April, 2018, thereby for a while running alongside 'Marie Antoinette. The Oscar-winning costumes of a Queen’, a fantastic show of the costumes created by Milena Canonero for the film Marie Antoinette by Sophia Coppola, opening on 11 February and continuing through 27 May, 2018.

PRATO, TEXTILE CITY. The choice of the city of Prato, Italy, as the location of both exhibitions did not happen by chance, but was instead meant to emphasize the bond between this center of excellence for the production of textiles and important entities from the world of fashion as well as cinema and entertainment. Prato and textiles are, in fact, the trademark spurring the cultural scene of this city that after a long period of decline is now finding a new identity precisely in the excellence of its creations. The Prato Textile Museum was purposely founded with the aim of making visitors aware of the history and the uniqueness of Prato's textile art, proof of which is given by the museum’s venue. It is in fact situated in the former Campolmi Leopoldo and C. Textile Mill, a splendid example of restoration of industrial archaeology. The Prato Museum of Textiles displays a series of collections that will accompany you on a fantastic journey into the world of creativity and highly skilled craftsmanship: historical textiles and sacred vestments, embroidered textiles and artefacts, ethnic textiles and garments, archaeological textiles, samples from Prato, sketches and artists’ textiles, contemporary fabrics, garments and accessories and fashion figurines. With the ticket of the Prato Museum of Textile you can visit both temporary exhibitions, a not to be missed opportunity for a foray into the most sumptuous and fascinating vintage… let's discover them together!


    The exhibition is housed in the vaulted spacious rooms of the splendid Hall of Ancient Textiles and exhibits over 100 items including textiles, men’s and women’s 18th century clothing, fashion accessories, porcelain, paintings and etchings and vintage books. It is therefore a journey into the fashion, style and artistic culture of Europe in the eighteenth century. As with other similarly-themed exhibitions in Prato, the exhibition has benefited from the collaboration with such important museums as the Uffizi Gallery’s Museum of Costume and Fashion, the Stibbert Museum in Florence, the Ferragamo Museum and the Antonio Ratti Foundation’s Textile Studio Museum in Como, all of whom have donated some of the objects on display. Exhibits are divided into three sections that highlight the three main styles that dominated 18th century fashion. The first part of the exhibition in Prato of antique fabrics is dedicated to exoticism, the phenomenon that emerged out of the exchanges triggered by the Compagnia delle Indie, which brought to Europe luxury items from China and Japan that rapidly influenced and greatly changed the fashion of the time, a phenomenon particularly evident in French production. Here, attention turned towards rococo designs that juxtaposed nature to exotic subjects giving rise to defined styles such as eccentric bizarre, more natural Revel and delicate Dentelle. The second part brings to the attention of the visitor another change in the fashion of the time, spearheaded by the archaeological campaigns. In this case, the European fabrics of the eighteenth century are inspired by motifs and decorations typical of the classical art. A splendid example of this trend is the magnificent male waistcoat displayed in the exhibition of antique textiles of the Prato Museum of textile. The last part of this fascinating journey into 18th century fashion and its fabrics shows how social changes can also influence fashion. Moving from the splendor of the courts to the daily life of the middle and working class, we notice how productions, colours and shapes become lighter, this way sparking the soft and veiled colors of the neoclassical style.


    If you fell in love with the costumes of Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette movie, you cannot miss this exhibition and its display of the fantastic Oscar winning Milena Canonero costumes. In this fascinating temporary exhibition in Prato, you can admire the wonderful costumes worn by Kristine Dunst in the Queen movie. Twenty wonderful items of 18th century men's clothing and 18th century women's clothing worn by the main actors in the Marie Antoinette film that led to Milena Canonero costume designer being awarded the Oscar for best costume design in 2007. Marie Antoinette movie costumes were in fact considered the best cinematographic reinterpretation of 1700 clothing. Who, especially amongst women, has not dreamt of wearing the film’s sumptuous 1700 women's clothing with its pastel colors and adorned with an abundance of bows and lace? When you visit Milena Canonero’s costumes exhibition displaying Marie Antoinette film costumes, your dream will live on. The costumes from 1700 of the film on Marie Antoinette’s life were created by Sartoria The One, the youngest cinematographic and theatrical costume workshop in Rome with the fabrics of OB Stock, Prato.

Considering that Prato is only a few kilometers from Florence and conveniently connected by train and bus, what about taking advantage of this antique textiles exhibition in Italy and Milena Canonero Marie Antoinette costumes exhibition to spend a few days in the wonderful capital of Tuscany? Browse our Florence hotels section and choose the accommodation best suited to your preferences and requirements!

If you are eager to make the most of your visit to Tuscany, take a look at the wonderful tours in the 'Art and Culture' section where you will find interesting proposals to visit the fascinating cradle of the Renaissance ... and lots more!


By Insidecom Editorial Staff