Trousers, waistcoat and jacket: these were the holy trinity for every man for centuries. And it was no different in the twentieth century for men in Zeeland. During this period, each village had its own tailor who knew the local men and their bodies. He made tailored suits and finished his work with a characteristic signature in the form of a unique stitch. A Zeeland men's suit is made of sturdy, durable fabric, as black and gray as the local clay. Strong and resistant for hard work, level-headed for Sunday and flamboyant for a party, complete with 'bling-bling'.
In the Suited and Booted exhibition, each suit tells the story of the owner. Despite their almost identical shape, the suits show a world of differences. How they are used is visible in the traces of wear and repairs. Who was the man who lived in this suit died? His suit betrays his role in society, his faith and his work. The construction and the state of emergency give the suit its unique appearance.
Traditional Zeeland costume has not been worn since 2000. With the exception of enthusiasts of Zeeland's history, the traditional men's suit has disappeared from the streets of Zeeland. Until ...
In July 2020, the Suited and Booted exhibition gets a new impulse with the addition of the so-called ‘paeremessen’, farmers’ knives with carved wooden handles by Frans Dingemanse, one of the last craftsmen who makes these traditional knives. A book with his drawings and designs will be published to coincide with the display.
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