If you take a look from Lisbon’s Rua Augusta, the Design and Fashion Museum of Lisbon Mude won’t catch you attention. Just a few steps away from Praça do Comércio, the building would go ignored if it wasn’t for the big sign that covers it. Even then, you could take it as any other advertising. And it is a shame, because it is one of the great discoveries from my last trip to Lisbon.
Why visit Mude
An old building, nude, stripped of every decoration. Edith Piaf is singing, while I take a quiet look at a chair from Le Corbusier. I keep going, a Pfaff sewing machine from the late XVIII century, a Marcel Breuer, a Balenciaga cloak… now there’s the Beach Boys on the speakers.
No white walls, no cabinets, the ceilings are naked… everything seems to be in out of place and at the same time it feels it has always been there.
Piece by piece, the (almost) permanent expo shows some of the most interesting creations on fashion and industrial design from the last 300 years. It isn’t a large collection, but the contrast between the pure lines of the pieces and the lack of decor at the building, make it worth a visit. Plus, the visit is free.
Temporary exhibits: portuguese design
For what I’ve seen in this visit, the Mude does not stop at the great international designers. There is enough room for portuguese designers and that is a wonderful choice not to forget the vibrant scenic arts and the emerging designers you can find now at Lisbon.
There are showcased at the different temporary exhibits located at the basement and the top floors. One of this exhibits De Matrix a Bela Adormecida. In a room with little light, close to 300 items from tutus, jewellery, dresses… they overview the last 30 years of António Lagarto as a scene and costume designer, working with the best representatives of the Portuguese scenic arts.