For any blogger, one of the most exciting things you can receive is an event invitation to something that you would love to attend. This is what recently happened to me when I was invited to Bath Fashion Museum’s latest exhibition, Lace in Fashion. Since I was a teenager, I’ve had an interest in fashion and would pour over issues of Vogue studying styles of clothes that I would one day love to own. So attending this event at the Fashion Museum before the exhibit officially opened really did feel like a privilege to me. I sent back an RSVP yes almost instantly and brought along my best friend for a day trip to Bath.
I absolutely love visiting Bath. I know I recently wrote a blog post about another visit but I really do believe that it’s the best UK city that I’ve visited so far, maybe excluding London. It’s a beautiful and iconic city that carries not only stunning architecture but serious historic significance. What interests me about Bath’s Fashion Museum is that not only does it incorporate the structural beauty of the city into the building itself, but exhibits like Lace in Fashion highlights that the city can carry multiple examples of history including the history of the fashion world. It’s often said that learning about our history can help us to create a more prosperous future and I believe that this thinking can be applied to the fashion industry also.
The exhibit, Lace in Fashion, dates back to the 1500s, looking at classic examples of lace and the wealth that it appeared to symbolise. For example, one of the oldest pieces in the exhibit is an unassuming smock dating back to 1580 with lace featured on the sleeves and collar which would have been worn as a casual outfit. For something including lace to be worn casually during this time, the owner would have needed to be significantly wealthy.
As we were led through the exhibition, we saw how the trade and design of lace developed. Originally looking at hand made needle and bobbin lace, we were led through the designs that featured lace over the last few centuries and those that we now see on the catwalk today that are created with machine technology.
As a prized possession of the collection, we had the chance to see the last surviving dress of Queen Charlotte, dating back to the early 19th century. The beautifully delicate gown is made entirely of hundreds of strips of imported bobbin lace stitched together individually which would have taken a lot of time and effort for those putting it together. The history of this dress alone makes the exhibit worth the visit for any history or fashion fan.
However, my favourite dresses obviously had to come from famous designers including Balmain, Karl Largerfeld and Balenciaga. We even had the chance to see the lace dress worn by Lea Seydoux in the latest James Bond movie, Spectre, designed by Australian duo, Lover.
The whole collection shows how lace in fashion has evolved whilst still maintaining similar elements through designs seen across the different centuries. As you walk around the room, you cannot help but admire the hard work that it took to design and create each and every dress. It’s clear that lace is an element of fashion that has stood the test of time and will continue to be a part of our fashion shows indefinitely. This collection has been flawlessly put together by Elly Summers and I’m so glad that I had a chance to visit earlier this week, although I’m already planning my return. Bath Fashion Museum should be proud of this incredible exhibition that they’ve put together and I would recommend a visit to fashion enthusiasts everywhere.
This exhibition will run from 4 February 2017 to 1 January 2018.