Lace in Fashion Exhibition Opens in Fashion Museum Bath
Incorporating lace into outfits has been a sign of elegance since the sixteenth century and remains today a staple of haute couture catwalks. From hand-made lace worn by royals and the nobility to machine-made material that can be worn today by anyone, a new exhibition at the Fashion Museum Bath is retracing the use of lace in fashion, from Jacobean gloves decorated with rich gold metal thread lace to Burberry’s latest catwalk looks.
‘Lace in Fashion’ presents 50 pieces from the museum’s collection, the oldest of which is a smock dating from around 1580 with Flemish bobbin lace on the sleeves and collar. Another of the Museum’s oldest treasures is a Silver Tissue Dress dating from the 1660s and trimmed with exquisite ‘parchment lace,’ a delicate fabric made using tiny strips of parchment or paper wrapped in silk.
Amongst the historical highlights of the exhibition is a lovely 1805 cream empire-line dress, believed to have been worn by Queen Charlotte, wife of George III. The gown, which would have been the height of fashion at the time, is made entirely of very high quality bobbin lace, meticulously hand-sewn. The dress, with a substantial train, is so fragile that it has never before been displayed. Other royal connections include a Norman Hartnell design worn by the Queen Mother.
Among the more contemporary items on display is a blue lace dress worn by actress Léa Seydoux as Bond girl Madeleine Swann in the 007 movie, Spectre, an elegant evening gown by couturiers Balenciaga and Balmain, and a Karl Lagerfeld dress worn by Linda Evangelista in a photoshoot for British Vogue.
Lace in Fashion will be on display until January 1, 2018.