Although I’ve been in the UK for almost two weeks it has been hard to find the time to stop and write! So these posts won’t be in chronological order; I have many other wonderful things I want to write about that I’ve done before the Fashion Museum, but I wanted to get the ball rolling.
I’ve been in Bath since Sunday and have been meaning to visit the museum since I arrived, but usually in the afternoon after a morning of workshop or walking tour I’ve felt like just wandering round and visiting bookshops and cafes instead.
Finally, yesterday, I walked up to the historic Assembly Rooms building where the Bath Fashion Museum is located. (I made that sound easy, I actually walked round in circles for a bit first ). After handing over my ticket (combined with the Roman Baths; more on that later) I was given an audio guide, with which I could choose to listen to information about whichever garment on display piqued my interest. The garments were displayed chronologically, so all my favourite garments were in the first half. An exquisitely embroidered Tudor woman’s ‘waistcoat’ (more like a jacket to us, pictured here), an elaborate saffron and gold sack-back Georgian gown, and a blue and white striped Victorian dress with blue pompoms down the front were some of the highlights for me. But, to be honest, I loved pretty much everything from the 1700s and 1800s!
As well as being totally dreamy visually, the museum provided some great tidbits of information about fashion throughout history, whilst managing to keep the info panels small and not too wordy. I remember reading about the change from silk to cotton as the primary fabric for women’s dresses, and how the ‘death of the boot’ came about for men in the 19th century when trousers came into fashion, replacing breeches.
The temporary exhibition on display was about the use of lace in fashion over time, and the pieces on display were incredible. I should also mention that before I came to this part of the museum, there was a room with replica period costume, hats and wigs for people to try on. I wouldn’t want you to think I put on a Victorian dress and enormous straw bonnet and took photos of myself or anything, though.