If you love lace, and let’s be honest that includes most of us, then get yourself along to the Fashion Museum in Bath and check out their Lace in Fashion exhibition. It is an expertly curated collection of how lace has been used to influence designers since 1580 to the present day. There are some wonderful exhibits which have been generously lent to the Museum and which showcase how much a part of fashion history this remarkable fabric is.
For instance, the oldest object is a smock which dates from 1580-1600 using Flemish bobbin lace. Another rare piece dates from around 1660 and is a silver tissue dress made from fine silk woven with silver thread and trimmed with parchment lace. Fast forward to current times and there are examples from Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Erdem and Christopher Kane all of whom regularly uses lace in their collections. And not just any lace, but in many cases it is our lace… Sophie Hallette lace… which has been chosen. Think the iconic Margot dress by Erdem in vibrant red lace which created a storm of interest in everyone ditching the LBD and turning to red instead. Not forgetting the game-changing wedding dress designed for the Duchess of Cambridge by Sarah Burton for the House of Alexander McQueen. Wedding dresses the world over changed from bouffant meringues to demure-yet-high fashion creations.
The Lace in Fashion exhibition has something for everyone. Would-be dressmakers can pore over the intricacies of how the lace has been used; fashion students can see history in one place; and the rest of us can simply admire the skills of enterprising designers from Shakespeare’s Day to date.
Lace in Fashion runs from 4th February 2017 to 1st January 2018, so visit Bath. It’s a wonderful city, always with a lot to see… now a little more to add to your schedule.
Grace Weller lace designs for SHUDC 2014 awards
Margot dress by Erdem
From February 4th 2017 to January 1st 2018 / www.fashionmuseum.co.uk