From 23 January until 29 August 2013, the TRC presents a spectacular exhibition of clothing from Iran in its Leiden gallery. Visitors will be struck by the sheer diversity, the bright colours and multitude of shapes, which constitute such a marked contrast with the dominant perception of Iranian clothing as being dull and uniform.
Achaemenids, the Parthians, the Sassanians and the Safavids. Over the centuries numerous groups crossed the country, in both directions. Some of the newcomers settled down, others moved on. Nowadays Iran shares frontiers with (clockwise) Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.Iran is a country with a very ancient and proud history. It is also a country with a harsh climate, with deserts and mountains and an overall lack of water. Formerly known as Persia, it lies at the crossroads between Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Iran is also the homeland of many empires, including the Persian
The country’s geography, climate and human history have thus created a complex tapestry that reflects a wide diversity of cultures and traditions. Although rapidly vanishing in some areas due to national pressures and globalization, many aspects of these traditions can still be found in the regional dress of the country, especially that worn by women.
Most of the outfits in the exhibition date from the late nineteenth and the twentieth centuries and are now housed in the collection of the Textile Research Centre, Leiden. Many of the garments were collected during long periods of field work in Iran between 1998-2003 by Gillian and Willem Vogelsang. The garments originate from among most of the main ethnic groups, plus some smaller ones.
Perhaps you want to see a brief film of the exhibition, then please click here.