Monday, 8 March 2010

Bath, home of the Fashion (Museum)

Bath is home to a great Fashion Museum, founded in 1963 by the late Doris Langley Moore OBE, I prefer it to the Zandra Rhodes Fashion & Textile Museum and the part time exhibitions at the V&A. Housed in the grandeur that is the Assembly rooms, the museum sits cleverly in the basement away from natural light. With a rather quaint tea room at the back opening out to a sunny but cold terrace area.

Downstairs you are greeted with the dress of the year, a dress by Antonio Berardi worn by Gwyneth Paltrow, I don't think it's so much of an originality doth, more so a question of ticking as many trend boxes in one outfit.

I think Kate Moss for Topshop certainly had a place, it was I guess a notable moment in fashion when a model became a designer. However I would have liked to have seen a Gareth Pugh or Christopher Kane outfit, or am I missing the point? Is it pushing towards mass consumerism and playing safe or reflecting the changes in fashion. Fortunately credentials reassured me, outfits from Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, Paul Smith, Katherine Hammett were all present. The mannequins were of such good quality, hair style, make-up and pose were totally in tune with the time.

The crinoline section was great fun, you were able to try on a corset and skirt frame, uncomfortable but highly amusing. My personal highlight was the dress worn by Queen Victoria, I didn't believe it belonged to her at first, she was so short and portly. There were fine examples of historical dress, scenes and stories from the time to place in context. I would have liked to have seen more of the shoes, hats and bags they had in storage out, a great shame the only had a few displays covering accessories. Also a video projection showing the work of modern designers, old footage of catwalks etc would be beneficial. All in all an excellent day out.