A MODERN NARRATIVE OF FOLK COSTUMES
Welcome to a contemporary narrative about folk and regional costumes. In the exhibition titled PROUD, visitors can explore 21 modern folk costumes created by designer Nicholas Nybro. These costumes are opulent, beautiful, humorous, distinctive, and thought-provoking, each telling stories about a region's identity, diversity, environmental spirit, and sense of belonging. Nybro, in his unique fashion, plays with symbols and aesthetics, challenging our perception of everyday wear, party wear, work attire, and costumes. Colors, materials, and designs unfold in a thrilling display of diversity.
From Amager to Nørrebro, Strynø, Ærø, Fanø, Sønderborg, Randers, Aalborg, Hirtshals, Højer, Esbjerg, Billund, Herning, Aarhus, Vollsmose, Nykøbing Falster, Roskilde, Svanholm, Christiania, Valby, to Tisvilde, Nybro — donning his leopard jacket — has traversed Denmark. He has delved into our relationship with clothing and the status it conveys across different regions of Denmark. During his journey, Nybro measured the pulse of Danish national spirit and immersed himself into locals’ connection with their hometown. Throughout the entire process, local residents and museums have been included, leaving a distinct and unmistakable mark on the design of the costumes.
Puffer jacket and mourning dress combined
For instance, the inspiration for the Amager costume came from both the contemporary borough and Amager’s original folk costumes, particularly the distinctive mourning dress known as the jøben. Nybro aspired to design a costume that drew from the historical mourning dress and combined it with today’s large, black puffer jacket, which he observed in the urban landscape of Amagerbrogade on a chilly February day. The mourning dress was characterized by the skirt being lifted over the head to create a cocoon-like form in pleated wool. Nybro used this form as a base and shaped the costume with voluminous fabric panels, making the costume resemble a down jacket and at the same time allude to the pleated skirt.
A transforming folk costume
During his research for the PROUD exhibition, Nybro discovered that the folk and regional costumes of yesteryears often evolved in expression to reflect tastes and trends of the times, thus they could be viewed more as popular fashion costumes rather than immutable folk costumes. Nybro’s collection of modern folk costumes presents a potent narrative, reflecting the colorful and diverse Denmark of 2023. It tells a story that transcends geographical and local disparities, revealing a pride in our origins and a sense of belonging.
The exhibition is supported by:
The Danish Arts Foundation
A.P. Møller Og Hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers Fond Til Almene Formaal
Aage Og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond
Martha Og Paul Kerrn-Jespersens Fond
New Carlsberg Foundation