My day out in Bath consisted of visiting the Fashion Museum where they had two exhibitions. ‘A History Of Fashion In 100 Objects’ and ‘Lace In Fashion’. Both of the exhibitions were worth going to and I loved every minute. They were both beneficial to my studies in inspirational. There was also a quick visit to the Victoria Art Gallery to see John Eaves: Eachoes of Place exhibition. Plus, it was my first visit to Bath and it was really nice!
A History Of Fashion In 100 Objects.
For the house of Dior.
Above is a Pink and blue embroidered ‘cut off ball gown’ with black trousers, Raf Simons. Chosen as ‘Dress of the Year’ 2012, by Vanessa Friedman.
This embroidered cut off gown was towards the end of the Exhibition. At the end we started to notice the change of fabrics used, and how they were represented on the body. They were becoming modern in contrast to the start of the exhibition where the dresses were from the 1700’s. You can imagine the difference between a really old fashioned thick gown compared to this ‘cut off’ contemporary gown. I enjoyed the modern part more than the start, only because of my personal preference. I do like the futuristic ideations of fashions and how far it’s come since the very start. However it is important not to forget that fashion started out because of hand stitchery and embroidery.
The beading on this garment was eye-catching and it shimmered behind the protective glass. I couldn’t help but think how long the beads must have took if this dress was made 100 years previous. Now, due to technology we are lucky we have certain machinery that is able to do this for us. The floral design looks 3D which I believe is a deliberate outcome on the designers behalf, interacting with the model who wears it and the people who view it.
Cherry red ‘Hypercherries’ head-piece, Piers Atkinson, 2015
I love cherries as they remind me of the vintage era and also punk as a clothing brand called ‘Hell Bunny‘ who cater for alternative fashion often work with cherry patterned clothing. So when seeing this head piece I was amazed and just wanted to wear it myself! It’s very quirky and an outgoing piece of fashion. It was worn by the music artist Rhianna at one point and the pop artist Lady Gaga.
Before visiting this exhibition I didn’t know Piers Atkinson designed wild and outrageous head pieces of famous music artists.
“That’s not a hat! It’s a PIECE!!” — Anon. Overheard at London Fashion Week
Reading his article I found out a lot of interesting facts about Atkinson. His ‘hats’ are a piece of art work and he doesn’t associate them with anything less. He is an event-organiser and artist, Piers Atkinson launched his first collection of luxury, handmade headpieces in 2008, the nine-piece collection contained elements of his roots; from fashion and theatre to sculpture and the wild, energetic excesses of the London club scene. He has also worked on several projects. It was interesting to know he worked on a piece for Marina & The Diamonds in concert.
Lace In Fashion.
This exhibition appealed to me more than the other as I do love lace, it is one of my favourite fabrics. 80% of my wardrobe has lace in it so I was eager to find out facts on how lace is used in fashion and explore the making of lace and how it’s developed over 100 years. An interesting fact: In the early 20th century one dress was hand stitched completely of lace and took a year to make. It was so interesting to see this dress and how much time was taken to make a lace garment back then. It was for a womens wedding. The patience to sew and complete the dress is really impressive. In today’s world, lace is sold in a collection in fashion outlets, this wouldn’t be the case if we didn’t have any laser cutting machines which is how lace and fishnet is often made today.
As soon as you walked through to the Lace exhibition, there were three beautiful lace dresses (in the image above) right in front for everyone to see so of course these caught my eye as I love the colour orange and pink together. The background colour was navy, so the floral lace colours contrasted well and stood out the most. These dresses were made by a previous student who studied at Bath Spa University. This is definitely inspirational as you can see what others have designed and their possible thoughts when making something in the textile industry.
The first part of the exhibition was very much the start of lace and how it’s evolved over the years. Each section was dated and you could see the change in lace and how it was made. Hand made lace was the first section of the exhibition. It dated back to the late 1500’s. Lace was very expensive and seen as such a luxury to begin with as it was hand made and cost a lot because of all of the labor. I was interested in such fine details of the lace and how much time was taken to perfect each piece. There were many techniques such as, Network lace, needle lace and bobbin lace. Each of the techniques were very time consuming and again thats why one of the dresses took so long to make.
Throughout the middle of the exhibition in the 19th century we started to see machine made pieces of fashion with lace embroidered onto them. This meant lace could be mass produced and lace became more available to middle class consumers and less expensive as there was less time taken to create the garment.
The dresses were insane and the details were so fine and the lace definitely looked delicate. I had a few favourites as I find black lace very enhancing on the body. I started to notice as well, darker lace had started to become popular and manufactured rather than white. White lace is now often used for weddings or important events. I enjoyed the style of the dresses with subtle lace designs as they were most eye catching.
When I go back to university it would be interesting to attempt making my own lace. I am eager to experiment with a simplistic pattern of my own using these as inspiration to then put on the laser cutter.
I found this exhibition to be one of my favourites and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in fashion in any sort of aspect. The fashion industry is great as there are plenty of things to explore and multiple design outcomes. I am hoping to gain more knowledge in this practice as I want to be a successful designer myself.
To end a very interesting day… have some touristy posts from Bath! The famous umbrellas and the mini waterfall to replicate Roman Baths.