Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Fashion Museum in Bath

Bath is the biggest town in my sister's vicinity so I have been there a few times during this visit. Today's prime purpose was a haircut. This was at the suggestion of my sister who briefed me fairly intensely on what to ask for. When I got there I repeated an, ahem, slightly watered down version of this to which the eastern europeanly accented hairdresser replied "hmmmm, no, that will not look good" and so I went with what she said. Somehow, between the three of us, we got to this.
Me with Layers
Layers. Layers, I am told, are key. They reduce 'weight'. Not of the body, but of the hair. As does reducing length. That makes sense to me. Less hair means less overall mass. My sister was ecstatic when I got home. We'll see what kind of dandelion mess it looks like once I've washed it and not blow dried.
Static electricity

I did not know there was a Fashion Museum until I looked up the location of the hairdresser and saw it on the map. Aha, I thought. (Not a complicated thought, but honest.) At £8 it's not cheap and also not huge, but overall quite satisfying. And were I a Downton Abbey fan I would have been highly chuffed with the dozen or so costumes on display as part of a War Time Fashion exhibit.
To Dress Extravagently
Well put.
Votes for Women
Costumes from Downton Abbey
Above there's a Maggy Smith on the left and a suit for the man that's the Lord or whatever. There were displays on knitting for the troops as well as how working changed women's wardrobes.
On her their lives depend
Dowstairs there was a special exhibition on the Georgians. There were some incredible garments on display - some dating back to the 1600's and looking like they could be picked up and worn at a moment's notice, although I am sure they are really very delicate.
Back of a Georgian Dress
Georgian Striped Dress
See the hips of the one in the background in the photo above? That was what you had to wear if invited to Court during, I think, George III's reign. One touch I liked was that there were modern replicas you could try on and then take photos of yourself in against a printed background. Some of the replicas were genuinely complicated adult dresses so this wasn't just a funny-hat-photobooth type of thing. Moving on, the Museum had cunningly converted their archive storage into another exhibition.
Vintage Dresses
Every single one of the grey boxes you can see above is full of parasols.
Georgian Dress
Some of the storage was in plastic tubs (above) and each section had a little illustrative display in it.
Dress Belonging to Queen Victoria
Above is one of Queen Victoria's actual dresses! I was quite in awe of it as it fitted so well with the images I've seen of her after Albert died. The detail of the lace around the bottom and the beading was beautiful.

There was also more recent clothing - including some of Princess Diana's wardrobe. Her going away outfit:
Princes Diana's Going Away Outfit
All the sketches in the background were done for her and many were executed.

It was very interesting to visit and the building - The Assembly Rooms - was also interesting. But unless you were interested in the exhibitions they happened to have on it isn't something I'd suggest making a special trip for.

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