7 March 2022

Costume and Commemoration. Royal Jubilees Remembered


Costume and Commemoration

 Royal Jubilees Remembered

Opens March 2022 until March 2023.

The first new costume display since the pandemic is now open at Henfield Museum, BN5 9DB West Sussex.

Designed as a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II and her Platinum Jubilee, there are photos, memorabilia and of course costumes.
Items from Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 are on show along with souvenirs from the 1935 Silver Jubilee of George V. Plus glimpses of Queen Elizabeth II‘s Coronation in 1953, and her Jubilees in 1977, 2002 and 2012.

20 September 2021


 Dior Museum Grandville France

Exposition en cours....


Always a pleasure to visit this lovely childhood home of M. Dior. Not only is the museum a full of exquisite Dior creations, but the grounds are spectacular. The current exhibition has roses in the title and there are lots of roses in the gardens.

The House of Dior has had many different skilled people at the helm since Christian Diors untimely death in 1957, but the quality, charm and beauty of the clothes remains unchanged.

Starting on the ground floor, here are some photos from my visit last week......

Up the splendid staircase to the first floor and a stunning case of dusty pink costumes. 

The sheer sculptural style of this....


Then the sharp jewel tones of these..

Look at the black roses on the floor of this case...

Swirls and swoops and fluid shapes.

And finally the second floor and more dusty pink and miniature examples of classic styles.

And the man himself in 1949

It is an enchanting museum. Exquisite clothes. Very well signed and beautifully designed displays. 
The English guide is well translated and very comprehensive. 
The staff are always pleasant and the shop is a delight.

Et un merci spécial à la charmante dame de la boutique qui m'a dit le mot français 'scénographie'. Je l'ai encore utilisé aujourd'hui !

A la prochaine ......

13 April 2021


Pretty and Practical in a glass case.

Several small objects from the Henfield Museum Costume Collection arranged ready for you to see when the museum reopens......

Sadly I do not know when we will be open again, but a check on the website 

Henfield Museum   
 will keep you up to date.

If you prefer to go straight to the costume collection, here's the link for that feast of gorgeous costume.

Henfield Museum Costume Collection

Henfield Museum on Facebook has weekly posts about the costume collection.

Starting on the left there is a fine example of a mid Victorian painted silk fan, complete with its own box. The box has a painting on silk lining the lid.

Pretty lace on a small hanky next. The hanky has its own voile sachet, complete with embroidered design and pink silk pad to keep the hanky safe. This is the smallest sachet of a set of three, the largest being a nightdress case. c1930s.

The final item on the left of the case is a tapestry style evening bag. c1900. The gold chain handle is just the right length to dangle from your wrist and the cut steel studs make the frame sparkle. Inside is just as lovely. There is a pocket for a mirror and a tiny champagne coloured silk purse has been handmade and added to the inside.

On the right hand side we are into practical territory, with the addition of a treasured fragment of a dress kept as a memento. The exquisite beaded panel, carefully cut from some long ago dress, sparkles and impress still.  It is tambour work and carries the remains of coffee coloured chiffon as a backing. c1930s

A small but well stocked needle case is next. It has a label from Kirkby, Beard and Co. The picture on the front is of a dimpled young miss dressed in the style of the 1920s. Kirkby made Kirbigrip hair pins. In the 1860s they made more than twenty million a week!

Buttons are necessary and these cards of linen covered buttons reflect how many were used for shirts and undergarments. They were made flat so as to go through a mangle. 20th century.

And finally we come to a tiny shift. It is a  sewing exercise and beautifully done. The button and button hole on the shoulder is perfect. The dress measures 22cm/9" from shoulder to hem. 20th century.

12 November 2020

Once upon a time in Alsace

Ecomusée d'Alsace 

              Situated 18km from the city of Mulhouse in eastern France.

Once upon a time, when going out for the day was possible, you could visit the Ecomusée in Alsace in France. A very good place for going back in time to see coifs and houses and shops in a beautiful setting. Here are a few photos of my favourite things that I saw one day in August.

A coif. A female head covering that conveyed by its style, construction and materials the wearers social standing and their religion. There were different styles for confirmation, marriage and mourning.


Permanent wave machines and an example of the finished product 

Devices to make curls, to straighten your hair and to set it in waves.

A country clothes shop

Note the large roll of brown paper on the counter. Used to wrap customers purchases. 

A reproduction of a female outfit
Displayed in the type of bedroom the wearer would have known 

Many different styles of dwelling are represented in the buildings that are reconstructed in the museum.
Most are furnished in era appropriate ways. There are shops and artisan works too.

A middle class interior from early 1900s

A treasured Art Deco (style moderne in French) light shade

Cobbles and a donkey
A venerable door. Wallpapered at some stage to bring it up to date!

A lot of chimneys have huge storks nests. When I first saw a stork I thought it was a model.
Until it moved...