stepping into the past
I recently attended the exhibition, 'A Century Of Style; Costume & Colour 1800 - 1899', at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. It features a stunning array of Georgian and Victorian clothing.
Leading Glaswegian department stores and dressmakers from the period are represented in the exhibition, as well as an exquisite beaded couture dress from Paris. There is also a wide range of accessories on show, including delicate jewellery, bonnets, colourful shawls, purses and even a metamorphic parasol.
The workmanship in the pieces was pretty astounding and a delight to see up close. I was also struck but how small the dresses actually were. Obviously the wearers would be corseted into them but even so, some waists were easily as small as 18"!
There was also plenty of velvet on display and accessories and jewellery that looked remarkably modern.
There were so many dresses that could have so easily have been designed by Alexander McQueen, such as the navy blue dress.
It was also clear that some of the creators of these dresses had been inspired by travel, as we see references to other cultural attire from places like China and India. It's interesting to see that the Victorian designers brought that into their own designs, much as the designers of today do.
Most impressive of all was how utterly pristine everything was, how perfectly preserved. It was as if time had somehow stood still.
If you find yourself in Glasgow between now and February next year, I highly recommend this exhibition.