The planning for our upcoming trip continues and naturally, we’re overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices to visit. 🙂 As previously mentioned, the V&A Museum is at the top of our “to do” list but there are others to consider…
One strong contender is the Museum of the City of London with its varied exhibits on the history of London itself ranging from the prehistoric to the modern. One of the galleries that really caught my eye was the one covering the Roman Era from AD 50 to AD 410 (hey, once upon a time, I was a Classics major in college 🙂 ).
Another contender is the Tate Britain (formerly named the Tate Gallery) which houses British art from 1500 to the present. While we appreciate all eras of art, we’re drawn to the “Impressionists in London” exhibit which runs through May (perfect for us). Better yet, they have some of our more favorite artists such as James Tissot who has always been a source of inspiration for us:
James Tissot, “Summer” (Portrait), 1876
James Tissot, “Ball on Shipboard”, 1874
It’s one thing to see the images that inspire us online or in a book, it’s a completely different thing viewing them up close and in person so we’re definitely looking forward to the experience. 🙂
On our upcoming trip to Bath, we’ll be spending a few days in London and heading up the list of places we’ll be visiting is the Victoria & Albert Museum (aka the V&A). The V&A has an incredible fashion collection to include items from the 19th Century and it’s been one of our main go-to websites for online research. Now we’re going to have an opportunity to actually see some of their holdings in person (at least the ones that are not in storage). Here’s one dress that we’re looking forward to viewing in person:
Day Dress, c. 1870 – 1880; V&A Museum (CIRC.606-1962)
According to the V&A website, the date is circa 1870 – 1880 although we would argue that it’s more like the late 1870s/1880s- the Mid-Bustle Era- the princess line combined with the nearly non-existent train would suggest that. 🙂 The princess line creates a large-scale “canvas” of sorts for displaying dramatic decorative effects, in this case rows of ruched silk. Framing it is a floral silk jacquard in a floral pattern. Also, the hem has two layers of pleated silk to matched the ruching material above.
Of course, as with all on-line research, it’s often hard to completely see the dress details and often there are subtle elements that are overlooked. However, it’s gratifying to know that we’ll be able to view this in person and hopefully the details will make a stronger impression. We’re definitely looking forward to visiting the V&A! 🙂
As we get closer to our departure for the United Kingdom, the pace of planning has increased and we’re building up our list of places to see and visit. Naturally, since we’re going to be spending time in Bath, we’re going to take advantage of the local sites and especially the Fashion Museum Bath. Naturally, we’re focused on the Mid to Late 19th Century but we’re open to everything. Here are a few examples from the 1870s:
Day Dress, 1874; Fashion Museum Bath
Evening Dress, c. 1871; Fashion Museum Bath
Evening Dress, c. 1876; Fashion Museum Bath
Unfortunately, not much information was available online but luck for us, we’ll hopefully be able to study these in person (assuming that they’re on open display). We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.
In the spirit of adventure, have decided to indulge our more adventurous side so in April 2018, we’ll be travelling to Bath, England to partake in a Victorian era ball (with the time frame of the early to mid-1870s). Sponsored by Prior Attire, a reproduction garment maker in England, the ball is scheduled for April 28, 2018 with some subsidiary events the day after. So, we’ll be spending three days in Bath and four days in London and we’re excited and hard at work drawing up our “hit lists” of places we absolutely have to go see. Naturally, fashion will be one of major interests and there will be plenty of opportunities… 🙂
We’ve already bought tickets to the ball and secured excellent airfares on Air New Zealand so things are falling into place nicely. Stay tuned for more! 🙂