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Lace in Fashion

Elizabeth Raderecht

Posted on December 15 2017

Yesterday I popped along to the Fashion Museum in Bath. Lola & Alice is based in the city, and I’m lucky enough to live ten minutes away from the museum. The historical collection has amazing clothes and accessories from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries (plus a couple of my grandmother’s 1920s beaded dresses, which my family donated to the museum's archive).

With plenty of lace hairbands in Lola & Alice's latest collection, I was keen to have another look at the wonderful Lace in Fashion exhibition (on until the end of the year). The culmination of a two-year project to catalogue the museum’s archives of lace dating from the 1500s to the present day, this show uncovers its journey from craft to catwalk.

Highlights include a smock dating from around 1580 made with Flemish bobbin lace on the sleeves and collar; a silver tissue dress from the 1660s trimmed with parchment lace (a rare and delicate fabric made using tiny strips of parchment or paper wrapped in silk); a navy lace dress worn by actress Lea Seydoux in the James Bond film Spectre; and stunning evening gowns by Balmain, Balenciaga and Molyneux.

To celebrate the Lace in Fashion exhibition, you can use a design tool on their website to create and share your own lace pattern. When you've finished your design it will be added to the musuem's lace design gallery.


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