November 2014

Loans of objects to other museums, galleries and organisations, present great opportunities to highlight our wonderful collections which may otherwise never go on display. Amongst the regular requests received by NMS, a recent request by the Design Museum in London for an exhibition entitled “Women Fashion Power” features some very interesting objects from our costume and textile collections which were worked on in the conservation lab.

Included is a large straw hat with paper leaves and fabric flowers, these very wide brimmed hats were known as Picture Hats and were held in place by long hat pins anchored to piled up hair at the crown of the head. Also included is a handkerchief titled ‘Woman’s rights and what came of it’ looking forward to 1981! It depicts the roles of men and women being reversed, with women having careers and men carrying out household tasks for instance, looking after the baby, washing laundry; cooking etc. How accurate the predication was could be the subject of heated debate!

1900s suffragette hat

Hat, c.1910. NWHCM : 1974.421.2

Handkerchief 1881

Other objects prepared for loan to the Design Museum include a two piece bathing costume from 1902, a pair of WWII dungarees and beach pyjamas from the 1930’s of which a fashion writer commented on his blog, “Up in a far corner is one of the most powerful garments in the whole exhibition. It speaks of quiet liberation.”

1930s beach pyjamas

1930s beach pyjamas

The exhibition runs until 26th April 2015

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