Fab Fashions on Merseyside

Thursday, September 4th 2014 –Friday, September 5th 2014

Liverpool, European Capital of Culture in 2008, has more museums and galleries and listed buildings than any British city outside London.  With the assistance of Pauline Rushton, Curator of Decorative Arts, National Museums Liverpool, a two day visit had been arranged to see some of the dress and textile treasures to be found there.

Thursday’s programme will include a visit to Liverpool museums’ costume stores, where Pauline will show a selection of fashionable items from the 18th century to cutting-edge contemporary.  At the Walker Art Gallery there will be a display of 1970s fashion, John Bates at Jean Varon, and notable Tudor and 18th century portraits.  In the afternoon there is a visit to the workshops of Thelma Madine, creator of many of the spectacular Big Fat Gypsy Weddings dresses.

Friday will be spent visiting the Lady Lever Gallery in Port Sunlight, where Pauline will introduce some of Lord Lever’s exceptional collection of 17th and 18th century stumpwork and embroidered pictures, and we can see gallery displays of tapestries, needlework-upholstered furniture, ceramics and Pre-Raphaelite paintings.  In the afternoon a visit to the Port Sunlight Village Museum has been arranged, which displays the history of William Lever’s Sunlight Soap, and of his Model Village.

We have also been very kindly invited to visit Peter Farrer’s house in South Liverpool, to view his personal collection of 30s/50s fashion, and his exceptional library of costume books and magazines.  This visit will be confirmed nearer the time.

The cost of the visit, £30.00, covers all visits listed above, but not travel or accommodation.  Those who book will be sent contact details for a couple of suggested hotels in close proximity in Central Liverpool, for participants to make their own bookings, and full details of travel options on Merseyside.  All venues are accessible by public transport.  Information will also be available on other museums/attractions in the Liverpool area for those wishing to make a longer stay.

Venues:  Liverpool and Wirral
Date:   4 and 5 September 2014
Tickets:  £30.00.  There is a maximum number of 12 places available.
Booking: Costume Society Bookings, The Old Brew House, Limpley Stoke, Bath BA2 7FR.

  • Evening dress, acetate rayon and nylon, John Bates for Jean Varon, c.1970 Copyright: WAG
  • Evening dress, acetate rayon and nylon, John Bates for Jean Varon, c.1970 neckline detail Copyright: WAG