The Málaga fashion museum is part of the automobile museum and is a mind-blowing kaleidoscope of colour and form
Masks at the Malaga Fashion Museum
Fashions change through the ages for many reasons, roaring during the 20’s, austere during wartime and swinging during the 60’s, influenced by popular culture, including athletes, musicians, movie stars, social media, and royalty. But one of the most influential reasons for a surge in creativity and glamour in ladies’ fashions was the invention of the motor car. When the motor car was invented only the rich could afford the most prestigious marque and this gave the fashion designers of the day an opportunity to create outfits for the super-rich that became as much a personal statement as the cars in which those ladies and gentlemen rode.
Hats at the Malaga Fashion Museum
The Automobile Museum at Málaga combines the two themes, cars and fashion. From its earliest days at the end of the 19th century, the motor car has demanded a fashion statement from the owners of the vehicle. Designers such as Dior, Chanel, Nina Ricci, Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent and Oleg Cassini, all icons of their day, produced outfits befitting the status of the car. The motorist and his beau became fashion accessories.
Dress worn by Doris Day at the Malaga Fashion Museum
The fashion museum is part of the automobile museum and is a mind-blowing kaleidoscope of colour and form. It illustrates the ostentation, flamboyance, glittery, even garish, demeanour of the people who designed the cars and those that owned them through their mode of dress. This was an age when people not only dressed for dinner, they dressed to go for a ride in their new-fangled horseless carriage.
Malaga Fashion Museum
On display are the Spectre collection of masks, which were worn enroute to the opera or a fancy dress ball. These are a set of haute couture pieces created as decoration that transports us, along with the splendiferous vehicles of the early 20th century, to a world of legendary characters, from the art of comedy to comic opera. Seductive marchionesses and courtesans, diamond hunters, gentlemen thieves, exotic adventurers, frivolous lovers and capricious dancers. Grace Jones’s skull, the mask of Casanova’s Henriette, the image of Farinelli – the last Italian castrato singer, and the imaginary Arsene Lupin, the man of a thousand faces.
Filigree car and dress at the Malaga Fashion Museum
The hat was the most striking and esteemed fashion piece until the 1960s. Almost obligatory, no woman could venture out without one. Hat designs exploded into extravagant affairs that could be shown off to best advantage from the seat of a racy convertible motor car.
Boots at the Malaga Fashion Museum
Who were these people that took delight in combining the latest in fashion and motor? One of the most flamboyant was an aviation pioneer, Santos Dumont.
Santos Dumont was first and foremost a dandy, always accompanied by beautiful women who, as often as not, wore the latest dresses given to them as a gift from Santos. Santos could be seen in the famous Parisian restaurant, ‘Maxims’ with his friend Louis Cartier who made him a special watch that enabled Santos to tell the time whilst he was flying. Dumont’s car of choice was a 1910 Charron Model X with which he used to tow his aeroplane, always accompanied by a lady in the latest fashion.
Forever linked with the Lancia, Edward Molyneux was a fashion designer in the 20s and 30s. He once said, ‘No woman is ever slim enough … nor has enough money’. One can only imagine the outrage such a statement would cause today. His taste for elegance helped him win a commission for Princess Marina of Greece’s wedding dress for her marriage to the Duke of Kent. His aristocratic creations were a perfect match for the Lancia.
Dozens of dresses, scores of hats and not a few pairs of boots and shoes, all influenced by the motor car style of the day take you through a history of the fashions for the motorist from the late 19th century through to the modern day.