McCord Museum of Canadian History – Montreal’s hidden Gem.
Running until Jan 18, 2009, the McCord’s “Reveal or Conceal?”exhibit presents a provocative retrospective of women’s fashion over the past century and a half, and the changing notions of eroticism, modesty, and female sexuality.
It explores the power of erotic potential, both suggested and displayed, alongside changing cultural ideals over the passage of time. The exhibit juxtaposes the erotic “hidden plumpness” created by hoop crinolines concealed underneath layers of a 19th century day dress, against an exquisite silk charmeuse and lace drop-waist Chanel evening dress from the roaring twenties, a vintage 30’s wool-knit (imagine!) Janzen bathing suit, and Madonna’s iconic Jean-Paul Gaultier “cone bra”.
Custom designed mannequins were created for each of these delicate garments, and the exhibit houses over 200 items, from corsets to bodices, decorative drawers, bloomers, garters and hose, all the way up to modern day bejewelled thongs.
If you are in the city, “Reveal or Conceal?” is a must-see. At $13 for Adults and $7 for students, it is a more than worthy indulgence to escape the chill of a cold wintery afternoon. And for the real recessionista, the museum offers free admission the first Saturday of each month, from 10 am to 12 pm.
For a true Montrealais experience, take advantage of permanent collection while you visit, especially noteworthy exhibition Simply Montreal: Glimpses of a Unique City.