VIBRANT colours, bold imaginative designs – Bexhill Museum’s 2019 exhibition on the Costume Gallery catwalk pays tribute to the exotic Fifties and Sixties.
Costume Group volunteers Georgina Bradley, Stella Hales-Morris and colleagues have selected with care from the museum#s extensive collection to produce a display which is at once elegant and stunning.
Here are rare examples from the era such as a dress made of a paper-derived fabric. Here are examples of the designs of Mary Quant and of the house of Horrocks.
But the display also includes a touch of the exotic with the Saville-Row-tailored formal attire as High Sheriff of the county, kindly loaned by former Hastings MP Michael Foster and complete with silver buckles and lace.
This is the 200th anniversary year of the birth of Queen Victoria and the mourning dress worn by the queen for the funeral of her grandson the Duke of Clarence in 1892 also has its place not only in history but in the independent, voluntarily-run museum#s display.
Georgina explains: “The yellow and white cotton summer dress, 50’s style, which is displayed in the centre of the catwalk on ‘Beautiful’, a mannequin kindly given to us by The Costume Store, who were formerly based in Ilford, is home-sewn by hand and machine and is typical of its time with the chevroned bodice, belted waist and very full skirt, once again many petticoats would have been worn underneath, some of them boned.
“The mauve crochet dress, 60’style, is hand crochet, fully lined, sleeveless and a mini-skirt, was displayed in Manor Barn before its transfer to Bexhill Museum, Egerton Park. It is a firm favourite with many visitors.”