Monday 22 August 2011

Bath Fashion Museum Research

I have been going through my research for the latest A/W collection which is coming soon and here is the section from the Bath Fashion Museum.
I was lucky enough to get a study session as well as view the film costume exhibition and the most gorgeous wedding collection they have at the moment. 
As I have previously mentioned the collection is based on Princesses, not the Disney kind but the kind that runs away from the Royal family and makes a life of her own complete with crown and dresses.

Bath Fashion Museums film exhibition, I am loving the ermine trim at the moment and it's definitely something that will be in the A/W collection, along with velvets. These costumes were from Young Victoria designed by Sandy Powell and Elizabeth, designed by Alexandra Byrne, the workmanship to make these costumes authentic is just amazing.

 Two of Queen Alexandra's (Queen of the United Kingdom 1901-1910) evening dresses. The first dress in purple silk chiffon and decorated with silver glass beads and metallic embroidery. It was just stunning with the couturiers label on the grosgrain waistband and the tiny hook fastenings over the bodice. Produced by Doevillet from around 1910.

The second tartan outfit was made for a party and consisted a pinafore dress with a bustled underskirt and the sweetest bodice trimmed in red silk. Made by Madame Elise around 1870-79. The fine hand sewn detailing is mesmerising, the pleated and gathered waistband perfectly folded together, little covered buttons and lace trim, everything looks so perfect in these dresses which must have taken months to produce especially with all the beading. .
Tartan will be featuring in the A/W collection, it's a princess must have, Regal and quite festive with lots of drama to it.

And finally the dress I had been waiting for, Princess Margaret's silk and corded lace cocktail dress by Norman Hartnell. The dress is strapless with a boned bodice complete with stays. The underskirt is almost pencil cut with structuring. No nets just this small skirt underneath and a very full stiff corded lace skirt fastening with a metal zipper to the centre back. 
I really expected these 'Royal' garments to be lined in gold or diamonds or something so luxurious, the very best but the dresses are the same inside as they would be for any customer, I think. This Norman Hartnell dress that was worn by the most glamorous Princess was un-lined with slightly tatty hand sewn seams.
I may have to read way too much into this and say they were beautiful on the outside but pretty normal on the inside. Sorry such a obvious cliche!

The whole experience of being up close to these garments (with my white gloves) was wonderful and something that is so valuable to learn from. A huge thank you to Bath Fashion Museum and the study department.
All garments photographed courtesy of the Fashion Museum Bath and North East Somerset Council.