Sunday, 1 October 2017

Malaga Automobile and Fashion Museum

The Museo Automovilistico y de la Moda in Malaga has concocted the perfect recipe for design lovers.  Fashion, cars, and art - what more could you want from a museum?  We had a day trip to Malaga, which is an hour or so on the bus from where we were staying in Nerja.  Once in Malaga, it's a 20 minute walk along the waterfront from the central bus station to the museum.  We were fortunate to be visiting on a day when it wasn't too hot, so this was a pleasant stroll.

The building housing the museum is a beautiful former tobacco factory, set in pretty grounds with some other buildings.  It's a huge space, housing an incredibly extensive collection.  Rather than take a purely chronological approach, the space is divided into themes, e.g. Belle Epoque, Dream Cars, Popular Cars.  Mannequins dressed in a mix of vintage and mainly designer clothes are placed among the cars, sometimes seated inside them, whilst works of art are displayed on the walls and columns within the space too.  There are also some rooms purely of fashion.  It makes for a very immersive experience - I honestly didn't know where to look when I walked into the first exhibition space.  I was so agog that I missed out on a few rooms and had to retrace my steps to find them.  I won't say anymore - have a look at some of these photos, and put this museum on your list if you're planning a trip to Andalucia.

Malaga automobile and fashion museum
Above: 'Cocktail in the forest'.  Yes please, especially if I can wear one of those haute couture beauties!

Malaga Automobile and fashion museum @porcelinasworld

Malaga automobile and fashion museum @porcelinasworld
Above: If you're a stickler for historical accuracy, you might not appreciate the flapper dresses teamed with much later hats...

Malaga automobile and fashion museum

Malaga Automobile and fashion museum @porcelinasworld

Malaga Automobile and fashion museum @porcelinasworld
Above: This white cadillac was used in Prada's 2011 campaign (do you remember all of those hotrod shoes and the pastel car print chiffon clothes?)

Malaga Automobile and fashion museum @porcelinasworld
Above: room full of hats!

Malaga Automobile and fashion museum @porcelinasworld
Above: This magnificent eagle on a 1949 Delage was designed in collaboration with Lalique

Malaga automobile and fashion museum

Malaga Automobile and fashion museum @porcelinasworld
Above: Jaguar's 1954 'Black Cat'.  The dress to the right is late '60s Yves Saint Laurent, from the Africa collection.

Malaga Automobile and fashion museum @porcelinasworld
Above: Art Deco style in 'The Noon Devil', 1938, with a central steering wheel.

Malaga automobile and fashion museum @porcelinasworld
Above, clockwise from top left: 1924 Unic (painted in a tribute to artist Sonia Delaunay), Mercedes  'gullwing' car, Pucci dress, Jean Paul Gaultier dress. 

Malaga Automobile and fashion museum @porcelinasworld

My head was spinning with Lanvin, Aston Martin, Pucci, Rolls Royce and more by the end!  I expected to find the fashion more interesting than the cars, but I have to admit that I was utterly taken aback by the car collection.  The entire exhibition is very well done, and we spent a couple of hours there.  There's a particularly interesting section at the end on unusual cars - electric ones, solar-powered ones, odd shaped ones from the '60s etc.  Something to appeal to everyone.

There are a few minor improvements that could be made.  Overall, there could be much more, and clearer information provided.  The mannequins weren't always labelled with the designer, year, fashion house, fabrics etc., which is something I for one would be interested in seeing.  It was also slightly misleading about whether something was art opposed to being a true vintage piece - for example, the 1924 painted car pictured above, was labelled as a 'tribute' to 1920's artist Sonia Delauney, but it would be easy to misread the information and think the car was actually painted by her. 

Being British, I'm sorry to say that I also found some of the written information to be a bit sexist, such as the sign for that car with the central steering wheel, which read "This peculiarity leads one to imagine the driver sat in the middle with a beautiful woman on either side.  What a temptation!".  Hmm...  There was also much made of women's allegedly fickle and vain obsession with fashion in one of the artistic displays, 'Fashion Victim', which placed the blame for consumerism squarely at women's door and made wildly unfounded statements such as the reason women buy a designer piece is because they believe it will transform them into a supermodel overnight (!).  I feel this is another reason to have more of a gender balance in fashion museums, to display more men's clothing and open up conversations about it.  Women ain't the only consumers of fashion, and it's disappointing to have an exhibit that reduces fashion to such a superficial level when we all know how interconnected it is with things like the economy, politics and women's rights...but, I digress!

Other than that, the museum would also benefit from a cafe.  There was only a vending machine, and a mobile coffee van outside.  It's excellent value for money though - entry to the museum is 8.50 Euros for adults, and it's an air-conditioned haven to beat the city heat.

You can visit the museum website here for further information.

9 comments:

  1. That looks like an ace museum. I wouldn't have known what to look at first. I do understand your gripes with there not being sufficient information, and the sexist thing would have bothered me a lot. And what a shame there was no café, which I really think is a must for a museum of that size. That said, if I ever visit Malaga (I do have a friend who lives there), I would certainly visit it. xxx

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    1. A cafe would be great, there isn't much in the neighbourhood. Still worth a visit though (just suspend your disbelief at some of the text...)

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  2. Looks like they have some incredible things to gaze at, but I'm amazed about that level of sexism in the commentary! I can't recall seeing anything like that at any museums I've been to of late, I find it quite shocking. I probably would have given up looking at the text and just focussed on the nice cars and clothes... xx

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  3. The clothes are beautiful, but be still my beating heart, those cars! There are some absolute beauties there, I wouldn't have known what to do with myself! x

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  4. That looks like a fascinating museum. Pete and I have been thinking about visiting Malaga, so I'd be sure to pop it on my list. Sexist information plaque regardless, that Noon Devil car is wonderful.

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  5. What a wonderful and bizarre exhibition. It probably would've driven me nuts that different eras were all jumbled up! It would've been fascinating to walk around though and that Noon Devil is to die for. xx

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  6. If ever I needed a reason to visit Malaga then this is it! Mind you, I don't think I could trust myself if I was let loose with that Pucci dress. Wow! xxx

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  7. This sounds so interesting! I was at an amazing vintage car show a while back, and while I've always loved the look of them, I don't think I really appreciated the beauty until I got to sit in one myself. There was such an artistry to them back in the day!
    But wow, some of the cons that you talked about would really put me off. Really, in this day and age?

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  8. Hat room! I think I could spend a while in there!

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