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Artificial heather flower, from a spray used on a bonnet in Princess Beatrice's trousseau

My Own Dear Lace

129 years ago today, Princess Beatrice, the beloved daughter of Queen Victoria, married Prince Henry of Battenberg. Princess Beatrice was the youngest of Victoria and Albert’s nine children. Her mother became increasingly dependent on her after the death of her father in 1861, when Beatrice was only four years old. While her siblings were strategically […]

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Entrance to the Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition, Barbican.

The Uncanny World of John Paul Gaultier

On a recent research trip to the Barbican I had what was both a fascinating and rather uncomfortable experience visiting the Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: from the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. The opening text for the exhibition does much to hint at the unique world you are about to walk into. Gaultier is […]

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Purple silk bodice and skirt, trimmed with cream satin and lace. Made and worn by Harriet Joyce, 1899

The Classic and the Quirky

  This blog post focuses on your questions about breaks from tradition in the exhibition and my own personal response to them: Samuel Bernard: How do you feel the truly avant garde dress designs effect the homogenised view of what the wedding dress should be, and where do you think the future of the wedding […]

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White satin wedding dress trimmed with Honiton lace, 1865

Not All White

This blog post focuses on your questions regarding colour, particularly white, in wedding dresses: Maggie Craig:  Have recently been researching for a local history project in north-east Scotland, where a description of mid to late 19th century country weddings says that brides usually wore black, silk if they could afford it, because the dress became their […]

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Tiny holes reveal where the paper pattern has been drawn over with a tracing wheel. In the centre of the middle circle there is a wide “H” shape, this is the buttonhole placement mark.

An Italian jigsaw

The Glamour of Italian Fashion demonstrates the amazing scope of work created by a variety of designers over several decades. One of the very special parts of this exhibition is the opportunity to see some of the “behind the scenes” workings of the fashion houses – print samples, fashion sketches and videos all give an […]

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A reintroduction (and warmed babies)

This is the inaugural post of the new-style Clothworkers’ Centre blog. If you self-identify as a Knitwit or a Fan of Fans (a fanfan), read on, and even if you would not prod a Velveteenage Dirtbag with a stick, you might learn something (although probably not from me). We will use this as a rostrum to announce […]

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Cleaning the Bohemian quilt © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

A Big Clean – cleaning textile hangings at De Wit, Belgium

This fortnight, we have an entry written for us by guest blogger Katy, one of the Textile Conservators who has been working on objects to be displayed in the new galleries.   The new Europe galleries will showcase some brilliant and beautiful examples of large textile hangings, including tapestry, needlepoint and wool appliqué. Early on in […]

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June Brides

When researching this exhibition, we did a survey of which months were the most popular for weddings among our selection of dresses and the nearly 240 years they cover. While July proved the most popular month, with nine weddings and one date on which two weddings were held, the only other double up of dates […]

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A Charming Bride to Be

We’ve all been a little over excited this week in the build up to a certain surprise. When Jonathan Lim took his girlfriend Sunhye Moon to see ‘Wedding Dresses 1775-2014’ on Thursday afternoon, little did she know she’d be leaving the exhibition as a bride to be. Jonathan had really done his research, and had […]

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Sparkling Occasions

In a recent interview, I was asked to select the ‘must see’ piece of the exhibition. Part of the beauty of wedding dresses is that every individual has a different idea of what the dream – or ‘must see’ – item will be. This idea offers me something of a scapegoat for my difficulty in […]

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