Fashion History & Exhibitions

Eliza Wyke / Fashion History & Exhibitions

One positive (and believe me I'm continuing to focus on the positives right now) from the lockdown is that it has given me the opportunity to reflect and be retrospective.  The months leading up to the lockdown had been frantic, with many last minute orders to fulfill, leaving me leaping from one project to the next with no time to breathe.  Last December during a trip to London, I had the opportunity to visit Zandra Rhodes's Fashion Museum.  The special exhibition was to celebrate 50 years in the business (of...

Way back in March (which seems like a decade or so ago) I had the chance to see the latest exhibition at the V&A.  This exhibition is one of the many short exhibitions staged by the V&A each year and was no doubt opened to coincide with the buzz surrounding the build up to the Olympics this summer...

Last month I had the opportunity to visit Liverpool and see an intriguing exhibition.  In contrast to usual fashion exhibitions which have a theme or highlight a design house, this exhibition contained a snapshot of a collection from one woman's wardrobe; Mrs Emily Tinne.  Indeed the entire collection, comprising more than 700 items, is the "largest collection of one person's clothes in a British Museum" and was donated to the National Museum Liverpool by Emily's youngest daughter.   This exhibition covered 1900 to 1940 - the years in which Emily married (into...

Mary Quant:  Grand Dame of modern fashion has been enjoying a long overdue and well deserved exhibition of her work spanning the period 1955 to 1975 at London's V&A Museum.  This exhibition highlights how she revolutionised fashion in the 1960s.  Designing easy to wear, practical clothes, for the modern, and ever increasing numbers of, working women.  Her deigns moved away from the formality of the couture-bound 1950s, where daughters would follow their mother's to her dressmaker (and look like a mini-version of them), into a new sphere of fast fashion. ...

With out of town visitors to entertain last week, we ventured into the Royal Pump Room Museum, and their delightful display of wedding dresses spanning 150 years.  The majority of the dresses have a local connection; either designed and made locally and/or worn by locals.  The small exhibition charts the changes in fashions, style and body shape, and also the economics surrounding weddings. Having seen the V&A's 300 years of bridal fashions a couple or so years ago and it's grand array of (mostly designer) wedding dresses made for the rich,...

Last week during a trip to Milan, I had the good fortune to find time to visit the Armani / Silos permanent exhibition.  The exhibition opened in 2015 to mark the 40th anniversary of Mr Armani’s designs.  Two floors of permanent exhibiting space house the designer’s creations over the 40-year period, curated into three themes:  Androgynous, Ethnicities and Stars.  The first floor explores the themes of Androgyny.  In which he identifies the jacket as an everyday must-have item, which indeed it is, and this space pairs menswear and womenswear together. ...

A sneaky trip to London last Saturday involved a visit to the Design Museum to observe the stunning exhibition of the late Azzedine Alaia’s work. This was my first visit to the newly housed Design Museum, now located on Kensington High Street, and have to say the building and exhibition areas are both impressive.  A wide, uncluttered space displayed these powerful creations to perfection. The exhibits were grouped by concept rather than collection, with many ideas and themes being revisited, honed and perfected throughout his career.  Unlike many designers today restarting their...

Last week I had the absolute pleasure of attending the brand spanking new Dior Designer of Dreams exhibition at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris – a pleasure for me, as normally when I’m scheduled to visit a city the exhibition of choice has either just closed, or about to open the day after I’ve left!  That the Dior exhibition opened the week before, and thanks to my Twitter feed (thank you social media), I was able to spend a pleasurable hour or several viewing one of my design...

Earlier this month, I made the short trip to the delightfully charming Harewood House, only a ten minute drive from my hometown of Harrogate, to view a combined exhibition of Victorian Harewood (I hadn’t been aware that Princess Victoria visited Harewood House) displaying memorabilia from Queen Victoria, together with a number of costumes from the recent ITV drama. The house is positively charming with the ground floor rooms open to the public showing off the beautiful grounds and gardens.  The special Victoria exhibition includes small items owned...

On Sunday, to complete my recent hat-trick of exhibitions, I visited the Hepworth Wakefield and in particular Disobedient Bodies, the exhibition curated by JW Anderson which brings together sculpture, art, fashion and design showing “how the human form has been reimagined over the course of the last century”. Its a fantastic exhibition – very visual, interactive, especially photographic and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Below are some of my shots: I found it fascinating to view 96 pieces of art / fashion which...