Haute Couture; the very best of dressmaking, the very finest of fabrics, the most specific tailoring, the most intricate embellishment, the most beautiful fashion in the world. As a girl whose heart beats faster at the sight of a well-made dress, it doesn’t get much better than this. One of my all time favourite places has an utterly divine exhibition on at the moment and I got my peepers on it last week. ‘Hartnell to Amies, Couture by Royal appointment’, is just perfect. The Fashion and Textile Museum, as always, is a great place to see an exhibition, great size, relaxed atmosphere, and always impeccably curated, on this occasion by Dennis Nothdruft and Michael Pick.
This darling of a show focuses on the undisputed Kings of British vintage couture; Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies. With a stunning selection of their work, displayed beautifully and with great informative text alongside. We also get to see examples of hat couturier Frederick Fox. In addition to all this gorgeousness, we are treated to the sights of some other couture pieces including Worth, Digby Morton and Lachasse. It is always an absolute treat to see the fashion up close, to study the detail and craftsmanship. As a vintage shop owner, I am lucky enough to come across couture pieces myself. I currently have dresses by Hardy Amies, Lachasse and Worth in my collection which I love and will blog about separately. These photographs above are a few of my favourite from the work of infamous couture photographer, Norman Parkinson, beautiful. I did take some photos whilst at the show, not great but a bit of a glimpse at my pick of what was on display.
- Black crepe evening dress with matching bolero, Norman Hartnell, 1938
- Embroidered pale bronze silk evening dress, Norman Hartnell, Circa 1946
- Blue crepe two piece suit, Norman Hartnell, Circa 1956
- Dark red and black printed glazed manmade satin dress, Hardy Amies, 1960
- Copper satin dress, fitted bodice, full skirt, Hardy Amies, 1952
- Scarlet crepe evening dress, Hardy Amies, 1980
This wonderful exhibition is on until 23rd February