Fifty Fabulous Frocks at the Fashion Museum, Bath

Centuries of style; Madame Katy, late 1890s, Charles Worth, mid-1890s, Victor Stiebel, early 1950s,
Vivienne Westwood, 1999
We took the girls to Bath Spa last weekend and popped to The Fashion Museum's latest show, Fifty Fabulous Frocks. The exhibition celebrates the museum's fiftieth anniversary with a spectacular selection of dresses spanning back to the 1700s. Writer and costume designer, Doris Langley Moore opened the museum in 1963 and it's since become one of the most important costume archives outside the V&A. I was a little nervous about how child friendly it would be but the dresses are displayed safely behind thick glass so Evie and Lola were able to drool (quite literally) over outfits without mummy getting arrested. It's also quite small and easy to navigate so there's little opportunity to get bored. The girls loved the kaleidoscopic range of dresses featuring intricate embroidery, garish prints and cute details such as the spectacular 18th century embroidered court dress which Evie thought was brilliant and 1930s dress featuring Mickey Mouse (above). The most fun was to be had in the dress-up section with a range of Victorian-style outfits for the whole family. Evie and Lola absolutely loved this – as did CLB daddy who looked spookily like The Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The museum is located in Bath's stunning Assembly Rooms, a spectacular Bath stone building with the highest ceilings and grandest chandeliers EVER and the vast empty ballroom provides a great place for little ones to burn off energy. All in all, a brilliant afternoon out. Tickets, from £7.50 for adults and free for children under five. Details here.

Fashion Museum, Assembly Rooms, Bennett Street, Bath, BA1 2Q (01225 477789/www.museumofcostume.co.uk)

1930s dress with Mickey Mouse embroidery

1930s Mickey Mouse, floral dress by Gina Fratini, 1973, coat, unknown designer, 1940s

A striking 1760s embroider court gown

Red and black lace Erdem frock with YSL vintage feathers in the background

Lola as a solemn Victorian toddler!

CLB daddy AKA Victorian Dad or is that The Child Catcher?

3 comments:

  1. I know, I love the way she looks so serious. Bless her! XX

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  2. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LT475.
    The image can be seen at wahooart.com who can supply you with a canvas print of it.

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