Bath Museum of costume

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Drachelis
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Bath Museum of costume

Post by Drachelis »

Had a lovely trip there yesterday -It is not a massive collection on display but they rotate displays quite frequently.
It reinforced what I could see in my mind's eye - it is so much better to be able to see the garments three dimensionally than just a picture. Wonderful to see the exact fabric too- I was amazed to see almost the exact match of original fabrics to what I have on my shelves. Cut velvet in a diamond pattern on a victorian dress and also a frock coat, waist coat and breeches an exact match ( no doubt not the actual fibres) to some soft olive green with a beige pin point pattern. I often buy fabric on gut feling and it is nice to find that I am on the right lines.

Mind you the little selections of 1950's to 1990's didn't cover much of the popular styles that were in existance - mostly designer stuff which means that if in centuries to come these were the only records of clothing - it would be a very narrow costume window for those future re-enactors to use as authentic costume of the period!!!!!!


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Shadowcat
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Post by Shadowcat »

They don't rotate the standing collection that often. There was a bustle dress I first saw on display about 5 years ago. The bustle had unfortunately slipped, and the dress looked as though there was a small animal or a footstool lurking on the floor under the train. It was still there 18 months ago. Maybe they have changed since then. They had the Jane Austen exhibition on at that time (2004) too.

S

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DomT
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Post by DomT »

What period(s) do they cover?

Might be in the area in a few months....
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Post by m300572 »

it would be a very narrow costume window for those future re-enactors to use as authentic costume of the period!!!!!!
Have you considered that the same may apply to historic costumes we use as a basis - Janet Arnold's patterns (for the earlier pattern book) are from aristocratic or gentry sources, for example.

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Post by Georgie »

It's a nice walk around the place, from what I remember they didn't have too much in the earlier periods. I think I can remember a couple of priestly vestment type clothing from the muddyevil era. Most of it seemed to be later. It was good to see just how fine the stitchwork was though - better than my sewing machine! I think that Jane Austen was a very popular collection, because that was up years ago :)

George

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Drachelis
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Post by Drachelis »

Have you considered that the same may apply to historic costumes we use as a basis - Janet Arnold's patterns (for the earlier pattern book) are from aristocratic or gentry sources, for example.
Yes very much - it is one of my arguments - that just because there isn't any pictorial evidence, variations didn't exist.

I will agree that the collection does appear to be rather small - they have a Nureyev exhibition at the moment - actually for me quite nice because I could see the costumes that he work on stage when I went to the ballet, up close and theatrical costume is my background. They don't have much early costume but for C17th upwards there are some nice pieces.

V&A next

Bath was a good day our being spoilt for mother's day then back to Miranda and Dave for supper and a look at the new furs they have in - very tempted - artic fox and beaver - the beaver is so thick and glossy it could be in a Panten advert.

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Jackie Phillips
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Post by Jackie Phillips »

I've been to the museum in Bath a few times now (well it is only twelve miles away, I ought to have gone more often) and one of the best things about them is that you can book "study days" and view all sorts of non-displayed costumes privately. They have so much stock that they don't have room to put out, but it is all available to view at any time.

It is a real shame that they don't change their displays more often, the reason I was given is that even though they have a lot of stuff, they often lack enough complete costume from one period to make a display.
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Drachelis
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Post by Drachelis »

Yes, I collected all the information on the Study days - booking a table etc - if you let them know what period or garment you wish to research they will gather various garments ready foir your session.

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Post by agesofelegance »

I was lucky enough some years ago (1991) to be wardrobe mistress for rep theatre and we had a week in Bath. I managed to book a couple of study days and had a very nice back room visit of other stuff as well.

I was just starting to do more 'real' clothes rather than just theatre pieces and was about to make a 1740's mantua so was given 5 different ones to look at. It was fab and I was able to match up the stitch techniques etc to the originals (very rough I couldn't get away with that for a client but this one was for me) as well as check out those tricky bits you never normally see. Whilst shopping in the next town I found some fabric virtually identical in colour and design to one I'd looked at so was able to get as close as possible.

It's definitely worth a visit

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Post by craig1973 »

There's a reenactors fair in Bath for those wishing to kill two birds with one stone but I can't remember the date - one of the May Bank Holidays I think

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Post by Kate Tiler »

Thats the last weekend in April, at the American Museum in Bath:

http://www.americanmuseum.org/
Re-enactors Fair: Re-enactors Fair
sponsored by the Museum Association. Living interpretation and historical re-enacatments are an important part of how 21st century museums bring the past alive. To celebrate this important connection, the museum will be hosting a number of representatives from local re-enactor groups, plus suppliers and craftsmen that provide these groups with the reproduction costumes, weapons and the other items that make their re-enactments so authentic. Museum grounds, regular opening hours.
Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th of April, noon until 5.00 pm. Last entry to museum 4.00 pm.

Pheobe will be there selling her natural dyed wools & threads, I may also pop down.
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Drachelis
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Post by Drachelis »

Would have been nice to go but we are at Cosmeston that weekend.

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Post by Tuppence »

http://www.museumofcostume.co.uk/

I'd agree with sc, though, I don't think they do change their on display stuff that often (prob has to do with the sheer man-hours it takes to do it, and the fact they'd have to shut the galleries while they did, thereby losing out on potential income, as well as the difficulty about having a whole outfit that matches in terms of both date and social context).

Have you considered that the same may apply to historic costumes we use as a basis - Janet Arnold's patterns (for the earlier pattern book) are from aristocratic or gentry sources, for example.
Absolutely true - but you use the extant stuff as a guide to how things are cut and how different effects are achieved, in conjuction with the plethora of written and pictorial info available for most periods (and certainly all datelines from the last millennium).

And then you use that as a base. There'd be variations, but to claim any "authenticity" (ugh - said the 'a' word - apologies) you have to have that grounding in evidence. Otherwise we might as well all wear deely-boppers on French hoods and bustled plus fours :shock:

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Post by Alice the Huswyf »

Of course you can't wear de lie boperes with french hoods. It's far too late! I have a pewter one with boars' heads that I wear with a pre-tudor gunnel. A bit burgundian for period but much nicer.........

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Alice the Huswyf
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Post by Alice the Huswyf »

Bustled plus fours indeed! You'd need one for each cheek in trowsers.

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Post by Cat »

My dear Mrs.Housewife, I really really hope that you have got a pair of Ricardian De Lie Boperes. It would restore the silliness balance of the universe no end.
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Alice the Huswyf
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Post by Alice the Huswyf »

This would be wishful thinking or a challenge, Mrs kat?

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