From the back of beyond

Isn’t it astonishing that one can travel all over Europe, on roads lined with snow drifts, probably several meters deep, and yet everyone gets to work, everyone gets to visit their friends, the children all get to school, and life goes on.  Here of course, as in the last week, everything grinds to a halt – to be honest, at Dalgarven, we have really not had much of a problem as we simply closed the Museum for 2 days and went to bed!

Now of course, the work begins for 2018, and its attendant exhibitions.  The main gallery will have the continuation of the Victorians from last year.  Since that exhibition ran from 1780 to 1860, it was very easy to find the title ‘From Corsets to Crinolines‘.  Next of course the continuation starts with the bustles and goes on until the Edwardians.  The title hasn’t exactly made itself clear as yet, those in power have already turned down ‘Bums to Boobies’, which if course is literally true, as the 1860s introduced the well known saying ‘does my bum look big in this?’ – the point being that the bigger the better, in costume terms.  And by the time we got to the Edwardians, ladies were so well laced into their basques which forced their chests ever upwards and out, but in the nicest possible way.  We have remarkable photographs of both Queens Alexandra and Mary forced into the most remarkable shape in the name of fashion.  So where have we got to? It can’t be ‘bums to boobies’, so maybe we could settle for ‘from the bustle to the basque’ or the other suggestion is ‘from the bustle to the bust’. Fortunately we have in the collection a superb probably 1905 dressmakers’ dummy which I think we will introduce right at the beginning of the new exhibition and it should quite adequately illustrate where we are coming from.

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