A Night of Glamour at the Museum
Usually Bailiffgate Museum & Gallery is closed on Mondays. But last Thursday, 34 members of the Ellington Ladies Club visited for a special guided tour of 100 Years of Fashion. Hilary Waugh, lead curator of the exhibition, brought the vintage and designer dresses to life with fascinating tales from behind the catwalk. The ladies learned about the designer shoes that the Super Model thought too dull to wear reinvented by a stylist with the addition of a bow on each toe. They saw the dress that Alexander McQueen decided was too long on the eve of his fashion show so out came his scissors to hack at the hem on his kitchen table.
Margaret Robinson, committee member of the Club commented ‘we’ve had a wonderful evening hearing about the history of fashion and the stories behind the dresses’. Designer dresses and accessories loaned by Stella Tennant, Super Model, and Alnwick’s own Duchess of Northumberland, are joined by evening gowns, suits, handbags, shoes, hats, sparkly Doc Martens and gladrags worn at special occasions by residents of Northumberland over the years.
Jane Mann, who also leads special tours around Bailiffgate is delighted to share her knowledge of fashion and the secrets of this Exhibition. She explains to visitors why the 1920s sequinned Flapper dress has never been washed; which item Stella Tennant (who loaned many of the designer dresses and accessories) selected from her first modelling job for Chanel; and which Prada outfit she wore for her brother’s wedding at Chatsworth House. Linda Osborne, another member, said ‘I love fashion and clothes and the dresses on display took me back in time’.
The exhibition runs from 6th April to 8th September and special guided tours can be booked by arrangement.