Thursday, 24 August 2017

Chatsworth House Style Exhibition

The second of our days out last weekend (it's a loose sort of term, as we went on Monday) was to see the Chatsworth House Style exhibition, featuring clothes belonging to current and previous generations of the Devonshire family.

There are gowns worn by duchesses to coronations, a variety of wedding gowns and costumes from fancy dress balls, and frankly they are a lot more gorgeous than anything you're going to find in your own old clothes boxes!

I'm always amazed by the hours of work that must have gone in to creating these dresses, the massive number of sequins sown on by hand or the use of embroidery to create pattern on plain textiles.

Vivian Westwood re-imagining the dress
 worn by Elizabeth I in the portrait behind

Not everything on display was 'ancient'. There was a mix of recent and contemporary clothing in there as well, from fashion houses such as Gucci, Anna Sui, Prada Vivian Westwood, and Christopher Kane.

And this huge finale in the dining room displayed clothes from a variety of periods

another Vivian Westwood

Although it was my idea to go, I hadn't expected to find it as fascinating as I did, and stopping to examine almost every item very closely took far longer than I expected.
I haven't included HALF the photos I took (even discarding those with strange reflections from perspex display cases, or the multitude of sequins sparkling over a dress), and I think I might need to go back and see the exhibition again before it closes in October. 

Who's it for? Anyone with an interest in textiles, embroidery, the history of clothing, fashion design, social history; even my husband wasn't bored but poured over household ledgers of expenditure on clothes, and was very impressed by the Dr Who style mannequins!


  1. I always enjoy seeing really beautifully made clothes, they are works of art in themselves.

    1. The tiny details on some of these clothes was amazing - so many hours must have gone into making each piece!