Augusta Lundin. The First Fashion House in Sweden


The Thiel Gallery

2020-08-29 — 2021-01-24

The fashion world as we know it today emerged in Paris in the late 19th century. Fashion houses were established under the auspices of illustrious creators. Their business relied on a large network comprising spinners and weavers, textile merchants, dressmakers, illustrators and designers. In addition, there were fashion shows, fashion magazines and launch parties, department stores, boutiques and, last but not least, the customers who embraced the new styles and fads introduced by the fashion houses.

In 1867, the dressmaker Augusta Lundin (1840–1919) opened Sweden’s first fashion studio, specialising in what they called French Sewing – the Swedish name for haute couture. Lundin introduced French trends in Sweden, so her customers in the royal family, the nobility and high society, but also in the arts and business sectors, could dress according to the latest European fashions.

This exhibition is about Augusta Lundin and her pioneering efforts as a designer and entrepreneur around 1900, and highlights the craftsmanship and work behind these beautiful creations. The social dress codes and the notability of her customers paint a lively picture of this great period in Swedish fashion history.

The exhibition features more than 50 elegant pieces from Augusta Lundin’s studio, from the 1880s to the 1930s. The settings have been designed to give an impression of what it was like in the dressmakers’ workshop and the elegant parlours where the clothes were worn. A few unfinished garments are also included, to show the intricate workmanship on the reverse side, and reveal some of the mystique of haute couture.

Exhibition curators: Anna Bergman, costume illustrator and historian, and Lotta Lewenhaupt, fashion expert.

This exhibition is produced jointly by the Thiel Gallery, Malmö Museer and the Museum of Gothenburg.