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Historic Costume & Vintage Clothing Exhibition

I'm extremely excited to be working with Tamworth Castle once more to curate an exhibition of vintage clothing which will be displayed alongside replica historic costumes from the castle collection. It will be an exploration of continuity and change around garments over time regarding differing needs, social mobility and improvements in production.

In preparation for this exhibition I have examined my entire collection of over 600 pieces of vintage clothing dating between the 1940's to the '90s. Drawing comparisons between the way we wore garments in differing centuries including laundering methods, fastenings and accessories.

Beginning in the dining room you will see how we dressed for dinner in the 1970's with examples of fashion from the era when production methods were speeding up and ease of wear becoming simpler. Compare this then to Elizabethan costume which would take longer to dress, be far more restrictive and not nearly as easy to clean.

You will discover the disparity between the lady's chamber when sewing was for pleasure and pass time and the servants chamber where stitching was a labour. Travelling through time comparisons are drawn to the Make Do & Mend motto of the second world war through to today's global fight against fast fashion .

This theme is reintroduced in the castle's Oak Room with a look at Reimagined and Recycled clothing that features pieces from my own refashioned collection. This is fitting in a room that has had sections of its original carving repurposed and remade.

As well as clothing examples you will find a potted history of the paper sewing pattern and vintage sewing accessories and habedashery alongside reference books and guides.

The exhibition will run from Saturday 10th February until 31st of March and I will be running some workshops in between this period, details to come.

‘There’s nothing new under the sun', is a biblical phrase that has been used to denote the recurring nature of fashion and human experience. If we could realise once more the true value of textiles; the fabric origin, human cost of labour, the journey these clothes make overseas and through time, then maybe we can return to an age where they are treasured and cared for as they deserve to be.’

This exhibition goes someway to examine just how far technology has come and yet how damaging this is to the fashion industry as a whole.


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