August 24, 2006

Whoa, Sweet 18th c. Dutch Chintz Baby Coats


Normally, the only time I would let a mention of chintz slip through is during a public reading of The Preppy Handbook, but I'll make an exception for these sweet, so-sweet-even -Phoebe-frickin- Cates'-store-on-Madison-doesn't-have-them antique baby coats from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Just like their counterparts in New Amsterdam, the movers & shakers in mid-18th Holland used to overdress their babies to impress the visitors. They'd put them in tailored coats made from imported, hand-painted chintz fabric. This stuff makes Juicy Couture look like colonial serf wear.

These coats are currently in "Fashion DNA," a Rijksmuseum-organized fashion exhibit at the Nieuwe Kerk [the museum itself is undergoing some serious renovations, if I recall] that looks like a slightly desperate official ploy to boost the image of Dutch fashion [sic] Designers Who Are Not Viktor & Rolf.

The exhibition's impenetrable Flash website also mentions that "when visitors came to see the new baby, fathers would wear a special cap," but there's no picture. Anyone have any idea what these lids look like?

Fashion DNA - Rijksmuseum at the Nieuwe Kerk runs through Oct. 22 [ via a friendly press release from kpr]

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