Fashioned from Nature

The Natural History Museum of Denmark is unveiling a very special exhibition on the 13th of April, exploring the fabric of fashion and highlights it’s dependence on the riches of nature by presenting beautiful dresses from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London alongside Danish design classics and fascinating specimens from the extensive scientific collections at the Natural History Museum of Denmark. The exhibition celebrates fashion’s innovation, creativity, and the inspiration it finds in nature, but it also draws attention to the industry’s heavy footprint on the planet.

Fashion’s processes and insatiable demand for raw materials come at considerable environmental cost, contributing to air and water pollution and the loss of flora and fauna across the globe. Spanning 400 years, the exhibition Fashioned from Nature shows how and why this has happened and the ways in which today’s fashion designers are rising to the challenge to create a vibrant but more responsible fashion system that respects, protects and celebrates the natural world.

The exhibition features fascinating objects from the Natural History Museum’s scientific collections related to the history of fashion, including colourful beetles, exotic bird feathers, stuffed hummingbirds used for ornamental purposes, whalebone used in dressmaking, and Nordic amber and toxic plant seeds made into jewellery, as well as exciting and innovative textiles products that already exist or are currently being developed.

Fashioned from Nature offers a closer look at the effect that our lack of focus on sustainability has had on the planet, and at the same time underlines how closely tied we are to nature. Offering clear and inspiring insight in the current parasitic symbiosis between the fashion industry and nature, and how we can move into a more commensalistic symbiosis where we can enjoy the benefits of nature without harming it, the exhibition is of great inspiration.  

Fashioned from Nature can be viewed at the
Natural History Museum of Denmark