Made in Mexico – the rebozo

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rebozo and ways to wear the “shawl”

On the surface, an exhibition focusing on the rebozo, a classic Mexican shawl, might seem rather narrow in scope. This, however, is a much broader, more far-reaching exhibition, that includes elements of Mexican history and culture in general, in addition to the fashion and textile aspects.

Taking over two floors at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London’s trendy Bermondsey, the exhibition is the first of its kind at the museum. Even if you know little to nothing about Mexico or fashion, I’d highly recommend a visit to view this exhibition as a great introduction to the country via the rebozo, an item of clothing of key cultural significance.

The rebozo is a versatile women’s garment of long-standing traditions, dating back at least until the 16th century. The museum has chosen to include rebozos from the 17th century onwards, right up to present day with good background information depicting the garment’s journey from everyday usage to becoming a symbol of Mexican identity.

Different sections explore the history of Mexican textiles and weaving techniques from different areas of Mexico; the rebozo in art and fashion and much more. Included are a number of excellent photographs of well-known personalities from painter Frida Kahlo to musician/singer Lila Downs associated with wearing rebozos. The main downstairs gallery has a selection of rebozos from many different parts of Mexico, while upstairs there are interesting selections of photographs, paintings and modern works of art.

Frida san Angel

Frida San Angel © Nickolas Muray

There is also an interactive workshop space with classes on offer and throughout the duration of the exhibition there are talks and events taking place, including a master weaver demonstration and a mezcal tasting master-class.

Made in Mexico – the rebozo in art, culture & fashion is held at the Fashion and Textile Museum at 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF, Tel: 0844 248 5076,, until the 31st of August.

Opening times: Tue – Sat 11am – 6pm, Thu until 8pm, Sun 11am – 5pm, last admission 45 mins before closing time. Ticket price £8.80.

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