This year the National Library of Malta is hosting the second themed lecture programme covering 2019-2020 entitled 'POWER, COSTUME & SCENOGRAPHY: Making Fashion a Statement in 18th-19th Century Malta'. This programme is coordinated by Maroma Camilleri and Mevrick Spiteri with accompanying exhibitions set up in collaboration with Heritage Malta.
The lecture ‘A treasured dress – the robe volante’ by dress historian and curator Caroline Tonna, investigates a rare and exquisite historic dress discovered in Malta, in the style of a robe volante (flying dress). The style of the dress was fashionable in the 1840s and it marks a change in fashion from the restricted tight bodices and small waistlines fashionable during King Louis XIV’s reign to more comfortable clothing that was preferred by fashionable elite ladies, in the 18th century. The lecture will also examine this dress in the wider Maltese context where fashionable dress acted as an essential component of good taste for the gentry and nobility of the 18th and 19th century, mirroring contemporary styles emerging from European fashion centres. The robe volante will be brought out from a private collection for the occasion and put on show during the lecture along with precious documents from the National Library of Malta as well as additional rare items of dress from the Heritage Malta archive.
This first lecture in a series of 8 public lectures will be held on Wednesday 27 November at 18:30 at the National Library, Valletta.
All Malta Libraries lectures are free and open to the general public – no prior booking necessary.