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Bernat Klein: Design in Colour

In 2010, National Museums Scotland acquired the internationally significant Bernat Klein collection comprising some 4,000 objects. This exhibition will be the first major retrospective devoted to Klein and his work, providing an opportunity for the first public display this vibrant collection.

Available to hire from late 2023

Klein’s extraordinary couture fabrics caused a sensation when they first hit the Paris catwalk of the House of Chanel in 1963. Klein’s trademark mohair tweeds with bold textures and daring use of colour were subsequently used by designers such as Dior, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin.

The exhibition also explores how Bernat Klein used graphic design to set his company apart from his competitors. Klein’s move into design consultancy saw him working with progressive British and Scandinavian firms.

Bold screen-printed garments will tell the story of how Klein’s focus moved away from couture and towards ready-to-wear fashion as he established his own mail-order company in 1973. Yarns and hand-knitting patterns developed by his wife, Margaret, will also be displayed.

This vibrant exhibition will further be brought to life with the use of film, projected archival footage and interviews. It features over 70 objects including fashion, furniture, tapestry, paintings alongside personal items such as his sketchbooks.

  • Bernat Klein, Autumn Trees, oil on canvas, 1964. © National Museums Scotland

    Bernat Klein, Autumn Trees, oil on canvas, 1964. © National Museums Scotland

  • Bernat Klein Design Consultants Ltd, colour cloth selector, spring/summer 1974. © National Museums Scotland

    Bernat Klein Design Consultants Ltd, colour cloth selector, spring/summer 1974. © National Museums Scotland

  • Bernat Klein at High Sunderland, 1963–1964. © Behr Photography

    Bernat Klein at High Sunderland, 1963–1964. © Behr Photography

  • Suit by Monte-Sano & Pruzan made from Bernat Klein fabric, modelled by Jean Shrimpton, Vogue New York, September 1963. Bert Stern, Vogue, © Condé Nast

    Suit by Monte-Sano & Pruzan made from Bernat Klein fabric, modelled by Jean Shrimpton, Vogue New York, September 1963. Bert Stern, Vogue, © Condé Nast

  • Bernat Klein, Maple, women’s fashion fabric, wool, mohair and polyester, 1964. © National Museums Scotland

    Bernat Klein, Maple, women’s fashion fabric, wool, mohair and polyester, 1964. © National Museums Scotland

  • High Sunderland, Selkirk, Scotland, designed by Perter Womersley and commissioned by Bernat Klein, 1957. © National Museums Scotland

    High Sunderland, Selkirk, Scotland, designed by Perter Womersley and commissioned by Bernat Klein, 1957. © National Museums Scotland

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