Monday, September 26, 2011

Current Exhibit: "Revolutionary Fashion 1790-1820" at Fairfax House, York

For our friends and readers across the pond - or those of you with the means to travel there! - a new exhibit of late-Georgian and Regency fashion has just gone on display at York's Fairfax House.  As a sequel to last year's "Dress to Impress: Revealing Georgian Fashion 1730-1780," this exhibition, which runs through the end of the year, draws upon a number of UK costume collections to offer a beautifully varied look at the evolution of dress during this revolutionary period.  Clothing and accessories displayed against the backdrop of the restored Georgian Fairfax House narrate the story of how dramatic political and social changes - the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, as well as the Industrial Revolution - were reflected in the increasingly naturalistic silhouettes of both male and female clothing.  A splendid (and pretty lengthy!) video tour of the exhibit that showcases (up close, huzzah!) a number of the items on display is available to view here and helps to introduce the socio-political context in which this exhibit intends to function.

Stunning pelisse from the Olive Matthews Collection at the
Chertsey Museum, currently on display in this exhibit. 
Photo linked from

Further information on "Revolutionary Fashion 1790-1820" can be found on Fairfax House's blog, in this article from The Press, and in this neat little press release from the University of York.  And for additional photos of many of the items on display, be sure to check out the official photo gallery!  Now if only we can convince them to produce a catalog...:-)

Painted leather slippers made by Brucknell for Princess Amelia.
Photo linked from The Press.

This coming Wednesday, the 28th of September, Fairfax House is hosting a fashion seminar as a special event to coincide with the exhibit.  Entitled "Ridicules and Indispensibles: Fashion and a War of Words in Late Georgian England," the talk will explore the shift from the tie-on pocket so ubiquitous to the 18th century to the hand-held reticule, and address the charged political and social ramifications of this "newest" fashion accessory.  For more information and for tickets. follow the link above.  This sounds fascinating and I so wish I could go!  If anyone does, do please let us know how it is and what is discussed!


Time Traveling in Costume said...

That pelisse is just drool-worthy.

Lauren R said...


Rebecca said...

Isn't that pelisse something, Val? Can you imagine how long it took to do that piping? Good grief! But boy is it gorgeous stuff.

Lauren, perchance painted leather Regency slippers are next on your shoes list?! ;-) I love the yellow bows, too. So cute!

Katrina - Edelweiss Patterns said...

That Pelisse is the most stunning piece of Regency clothing I have yet to see! It tops even the most detailed one that I studied in the Museum of London's private collection!

Thanks for sharing!


Aylwen Gardiner-Garden said...

I have arranged a private appointment with this pelisse for those on my Historic Costume Tour of England this September - you can read more at
Aylwen Gardiner-Garden