Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Costumes and Dress Codes

I have only just discovered a most wonderful blog! It belongs to the Countess of Carnarvon. From Lady Carnarvon:
I grew up and went to school in London. During weekends my sisters and I explored (sometimes under duress) the various museums that London has to offer. The one that I never needed to be persuaded to go to was the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington. I would head straight towards any exhibition of fashion and costumes – they have an extraordinary collection depicting what we wore that spans at least four centuries. You could stare for ages at the tiny waists, beautiful, delicate lace, the velvets, dresses with enormous hoops, the shoes and the wonderful hats. Admittedly most of it belongs to women of a certain economic status since those were the garments that were most valuable and therefore carefully preserved.

However, they depict an extraordinarily different and much more constricted way of life from ours today, from running up and down stairs, to biking round the park and hurrying to yet another meeting. (The top photo is the 5th Countess’s Coronation robes from 1911, whilst below are staff liveries and uniforms from the same period.) (Read more.)

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