Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Dedicated followers of fashion

My visit recently to a fashion exhibition and a gift from MIL and DNc inspired me to write about my small collection of fashion prints.

Almost until I left school, I was determined to study fashion or textiles in some shape or form.  Unfortunately, the choice of A level course that my textiles teacher made showed up her weaknesses and although it was great for me, this led to us not getting on.  I stuck it out, but along with a lovely trip to Germany to practice my German before my exams, I changed my mind in the upper sixth and opted for languages instead.  I'm glad I studied German, but am still fascinated by textiles and fashion (particularly historical).

Anyway, way back then, I bought myself a fashion plate from the 1850/60s - crinolines to those of you who aren't familiar with fashion history.  Then, on a school art trip to Paris, I bought myself another two from a book seller on the banks of the Seine.  They're double sided (obviously from a book originally) and are from the early 19th century (Empire lines, Jane Austen etc) - this was one of the periods I concentrated on for my A level course (along with the Edwardian/turn of 19th to 20th centuries and the 1960s, and also the designers Worth, Schiaparelli and Laura Ashley).  I also found some fashion plate style cushions in Past Times ages ago and had them as scatter cushions on my bed for years.


My first fashion plate
The two from Paris
Fast forward to married life and visits to my in-laws in East Anglia.  My MIL and I have quite a few interests in common and she has a fabulous collection of fashion plates that range from the late 18th century to the 1940s.  She has them all framed and hanging in her 'dressing room' - the smallest spare bedroom.  I absolutely adore them and drool everytime I see them.  When we moved into our house, she very kindly gave me 5 to add to my three and I now have them displayed together on the landing.

The collection to date
Well, the other day, DH visited his brother and came home with a present that MIL and our 2 and a half year old DNc bought for me - another Victorian fashion plate!  They went on a shopping trip together and visited MIL's favourite print shop.  There the owner placed a selection of prints on the floor for DNc to choose from and this was what she opted for!

The latest addition to the collection
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