If you have a love of historical fashion, and live in the West Midlands area, then you need to take a trip to Bantock House this Summer. Not only are the house and grounds absolutely beautiful, particularly for lovers of Art Nouveau/Arts and Crafts, but you will be able to take a closer look at the fascinating ‘mini’ fashion exhibition, ‘Change in Fashion’ which is running until 2nd July.
‘Change in Fashion’ is a stunning collection of miniature historical costumes created by designer Lisa Jayne Smith. The collection spans the years from 1066 to the 1980’s and are arranged by eras, showing the changes that came according to the monarch on the throne at the time. The collection starts with Harold ll, the last Anglo Saxon Monarch, and then moves through the eras of the Normans, Plantagenets, Tudors, Stuarts, Hanoverians, right up to our current House of Windsor and our last Queen, Elizabeth ll.
The costumes are displayed on Barbie sized fashion dolls and are exquisite in their detail and styling. They have been extensively researched, and take in not only dress, but head wear and jewellery too. The costumes are predominantly female, although there are a few male specimens in the collection, and show just how fashion progresses throughout the different eras, and particularly when we look at the vast changes in 20th century style, with women still constrained by the long hobble skirts of the Edwardian period, and then the release of the Flappers of the 1920’s, right up to the power dressing of the 1980’s.
Each miniature outfit has been extensively researched and created to ensure accuracy with some costumes taking up to a month to make. Displayed chronologically, each model is presented with the reigning monarch of the time and the period that the style was in vogue.
I love the idea of this collection, which is a feast for the eyes of fashion fans. The costumes are brilliant and show the real span of historical fashion, every time you look you notice something different. My personal favourites are the Bridgerton Era dresses from the era of late George lll, and the Prince Regent, that show that even in the most constrained times of the past, there were moments when dress became freer.
Until July 2nd