“Accessories are a girls best friend” exhibition

Starting September 16th, the new exhibition ‘Accessories are a Girl’s Best Friend’ will be featured in the Tassenmuseum Hendrikje. In the new exhibition, the Tassenmuseum will display the absolute highlights of the collection of the Rijksmuseum; Including umbrellas, hats, hair accessories, shawls, gloves, fans, shoes and stockings. These hidden habits are usually stored in the Rijksmuseum’s depot, but can be seen in the Tassenmuseum Hendrikje from September 16, 2017 to January 28, 2018. In addition to the special accessories of the Rijksmuseum, the Tassenmuseum selected several remarkable bags from its own collection.

It’s all about the details
The term ‘accessory’ was only used for the first time in the 19th century. Accessories can have a practical function; So they can protect you (like gloves protecting you from the cold or a hat protecting you from the sun), but accessories (bags and pouches) can also be used to bring in supplies that do not fit in your pocket. Traditionally, accessories are used as an object to decorate and distinguish yourself. In addition, accessories also reflect the culture of the moment and the social status of the wearer. Accessories are as good as fashion itself is part of the fashion system, if not a part that changes even faster than (clothing) fashion itself.

Accessories – stories about use and etiquette
Who wore a particular accessory when and why? The exhibition ‘Accessories are a Girl’s Best Friend’ tells the visitor a special story about various accessories and related uses and etiquette. For example, the way in which an accessory was worn and on which occasion was of great importance. Sometimes an accessory was even so characteristic for a certain period that an age has derived its name. Think of the ‘Wig time’ or the ‘millstone collar’. Also, accessories could indicate the time: the longer the glove, the later it was on the day.

Highlights from the collection of accessories from the Rijksmuseum
Thanks to its unique collaboration with the Rijksmuseum, the visitor in the exhibition ‘Accessories are a Girl’s Best Friend’ looks at the absolute highlights in the medical field and discovered the most important accessory trends of the last 400 years.

For example…
‘House muts’
‘House muts’ were basically carried in the morning, only in and around the house when others did not see you. So you did not have to do your hair yet, but you did get well for the day.

Parasols
If you walked in the afternoon you took a parasol for protection from the sun. Where we used to be browned this was not done until the late 1920s. As a lady, you tried to keep a pale complexion. Outside the sun, a parasol was necessary. Only when Coco Chanel used to get used to a cruise was the sunshine popular.

Fans
During bals, you needed a fan like a lady, not so much to wrap yourself coolness, but especially because you could talk to a friend in a cage with friends and potential lovers. In addition to showing your social status with a richly decorated range, you could exchange a lot of information with each other.

Evening bags
After 1900, women carry more bags specifically intended for the evening: small bags of special materials. Maliën bags were very popular, like steel-cut bags. From the 1920’s, couturiers also focus more on designing (evening) bags. During the Art Deco period, many new materials for bags such as plastic (celluloid) and aluminum were looked into.

Ball books
In the 19th century, it was customary to have a ball book for your dance partners during the bals. There were strict rules for asking someone to dance on a ball: to be able to dance with a lady, a lord had to ask permission for her chaperone first. Both the young man and the lady then wrote the name of the intended dance partner for a particular dance in their ball book, with a pencil stuck to the booklet. Only then could it be danced.

About Tassenmuseum Hendrikje
Each bag tells its own story. For example, each copy provides information about fashion, art, techniques and habits for a certain period of time. In the Tassenmuseum Hendrikje, you will discover the rich history of the fashion accessory.


The Hendrikje bags museum originated from the private collection of Hendrikje and Heinz Ivo. From 2007, the Tassenmuseum moved from their Amstelveen house to a beautiful property located at the Herengracht in Amsterdam, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Amsterdam Grachtengordel. From here it grew into one of the top 10 fashion museums in the world. The collection of the Tassenmuseum contains over 5,000 bags. Nowhere else do you find so many special and surprising bags together. From unique historical pieces from the 15th century to timeless classics of world-famous brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermès and emerging designers.
If you decide to come to Amsterdam for a short weekend, be sure to visit the exhibition. Definitively a must-see.

More from Camille Bersier

Steven van de Ryt at the FASHIONCLASH

Since 2009, FASHIONCLASH is the opportunity for young, uprising designers and artists...
Read More

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.