Dressmaking patterns from England to the US – the UK’s dressmakers
The UK is home to a rich, diverse and often overlooked history of fashion, and its own history of dressmaking has been well documented.
But for the first time, the UK has a full set of dress patterns to explore, thanks to a new exhibition by the London Fashion Design Institute.
The London Fashion Institute (LFDI) exhibition, entitled “From dressmaking to a modern art form”, will be held at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) until December 13, 2017.
The exhibition is being curated by LFDI’s executive director and chief curator, Liane Leung, with help from an international team of artists.
Among the pieces on display are a collection of traditional British gowns made from the late 19th century through to the early 20th century, including a gown made from a hand-hewn lace thread, a wedding dress made from wool, a pair of trousers made from lace and an Elizabethan wedding dress, which are all made from linen and leather.
“There’s something about the fabrics, and the shapes of the dresses,” Leung told the BBC.
“It’s a really fascinating time in the history of British dressmaking.
And it’s a fascinating time to look at the history and the way the world of fashion is being made today.”
There are also a number of dresses that are a bit of a departure from traditional British dress design, including gowns designed for Victorian times, and dresses made for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
“We have an interesting and vibrant and fascinating history of Victorian dressmaking in England, from the 1920s to the 1960s,” Leong said.
“It’s very much in a period of change and change in British society and British fashion, particularly in the past few years.”
For the designers, the exhibition is an opportunity to show their work, and it also aims to provide a platform for those who have never had a chance to do this before.
“I’m so glad that people who don’t have the luxury of the fashion industry, or the ability to make clothes, can see this stuff,” Leukh said.
“We’re all artists, we’re all designers, we all have our own ideas, and we all know what it’s like to make something that people want to wear.”
To learn more about the exhibition and the designers who made it, visit the LFDi website at www.liverpoolfemales.org.uk/female-artists-on-the-run/