Hats in March, Hoops in April…

March Events at Berrington Hall:

Hats & Bonnets

18th – 20th Century hats & bonnets from the Charles Paget Wade costume collection (On display until 30th April)

Gorgeous Georgians

A stunning display of star items from the Charles Paget Wade costume collection (Running throughout 2014)

Patterns of Fashion 2013 Finalist

The Polonaise, C1770-85, created by Grace Cheetham, Arts University Bournemouth, from the Janet Arnold pattern of the original Snowshill garment (On display until 30th April)

Changing Silhouettes

18th – 20th century replica garments created by NADFAS (On display until 30th April)

Dressing the 18th Century Lady

Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th Marchlive demonstrations from the talented Staymaker (see below for more information)

Hats in March, Hoops in April…

What a busy few weeks! Just recently the Costume Curator, Althea Mackenzie and the General Manager of Herefordshire, David Bailey and I met with design team 20/20 to discuss the new exhibition space at Berrington Hall. Here’s one of the sketches to illustrate how the space is going to be used to showcase our first of five (yes, five!) displays at Berrington Hall throughout 2014.

The first display, Hats & Bonnets, and will run from March 1st to April 30th. For more information about Hats & Bonnets, and future displays, please see the A Thousand Fancies blog post.

Within this space we shall also be talking about the incredible collector Charles Paget Wade and how his vision and understanding of the power of objects has enabled the survival of such wonderful garments. Check out this fabulous blog  The Wonderful World of Wade to see more of Wade’s incredible collection stored at Snowshill Manor.

Wade loved to dress up and try on costumes with his friends and in April the team at Berrington Hall shall be inviting visitors to do the same in the new Georgian Wardrobe space in the mansion. Here’s a sketch of how the space will look from the team at 20/20;

Speaking of which the very knowledgeable and talented Staymaker is currently very busy creating some fabulous hoops for our visitors to try on in our new Georgian Wardrobe Room! From April 1st we shall be encouraging visitors to walk through doorways and sit on chairs whilst retaining elegance and decorum…I wish you all the very best of  luck with that!

To see some more incredible undergarments created by The Staymaker (many of which can be worn at Berrington Hall from April 1st) please visit The Staymaker website.

Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th March – The Staymaker comes to Berrington Hall

The Staymaker is making an appearance at Berrington Hall! During the last weekend in March (dont forget your mums – its Mothering Sunday) The Staymaker shall be demonstrating to visitors the art of dressing, and undressing, the 18th century lady. Please see below a snippet of whats to come in The Staymakers own words…

Dressing the 18th Century Lady

Below are pictures showing the stages in dressing for an 18th century lady. This style of outfit would have been called an ‘undress’ since it is informal clothing that a woman might have worn around the home or amongst friends informally. Clothing suitable for social events would be described as ‘dress clothes’. For example ladies attending court would be told to appear ‘fully dressed’. The clothes shown would have been fashionable circa 1730 – 1750.

All women in the 18th century wore a ‘shift’ next to the skin to keep the upper layers of clothing clean from the body’s dirt. It was usually made from linen but could be made of cotton or ‘Scotch cloth’ – a fabric made from the fibres of nettles.

In the first image the lady is tying garters to hold up her stockings. Stockings had designs known as ‘clocks’ worked at the ankle, which can just be seen here in white on the lady’s left ankle. Her stays, pockets and a spare pair of garters lie close by.After tying her garters and putting on a short under petticoat – called a dickey in England – she is laced into her stays. To see more of these stays visit the stays page.

The lady is now tying a pair of pockets about her waist which will contain all she needs to carry about with her such as money, keys, fan, handkerchief, etc.

An English nursery rhyme mentions pockets:

Lucy Lockett lost her pocket
Kitty Fisher found it.
There was nothing in it
but a ribbon tied around it.

Because the pockets were simply tied about the waist the knot could come undone and the pockets fall to the floor, which is what happened to Lucy Lockett.

The pockets could be reached through slits left in each layer of petticoat. In the 18th century a woman’s skirts were referred to as petticoats. The word skirts usually only referred to the lower parts of a man’s waistcoat or coat.

Here the lady has put on her false rump or bum – a pad worn about the hips to give the skirt a fashionable shape. Over this she is wearing a quilted petticoat and then one of linen. A petticoat of stiff ribbed silk has now been put on, together with an apron and a half neck handkerchief. Later in the century the handkerchief was known as a fichu.

For normal day wear a handkerchief would be worn to fill in the neckline providing warmth and protection from the sun. A suntan was not fashionable in the 18th century and usually indicated that the person had to work outside for a living. For more dressy events in the evening it was normal to remove the handkerchief and show the cleavage.

To read the full article please visit The Staymaker or come and see the live event at Berrington Hall on Saturday 29th or Sunday 30th March 2014.


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