Top 9 Fashion & Textiles

The Bowes Museum

The museum’s textile collection was started by John and Joséphine Bowes, who were pioneers in the field of textile collecting.  They began acquiring 'antique' textiles to furnish their own homes, which led to the formation of one of the largest and most significant European collections in Britain. In buying for the Museum, they chose to represent all textile techniques and all the European centres of production, from the 15th to 19th centuries.

This is a falling band, a separate collar, known as a cloak band in the 17th century, as it spread widely over the shoulders. It is linen with linen cutwork and the outer band is geometric lace.

The first scene of a set of tapestries from The Story of Samson, in the style of Bernard Van Orley (1485-1542) a painter and leading Flemish tapestry designer.

This sumptuous dress silk in a rococo design of flowers and silver ribbons has a self-coloured ground pattern of meandering lace bands and fillings.

The wide range of dress fabrics in this quilt date from between 1820 and 1846 and probably specially purchased by the maker, who lived on a remote farm in Weardale

The shoes are perhaps the most engaging of Eugénie’s effects; four pairs have handwritten inscriptions ‘S.M.L.Impératrice droit’ as at this time shoes were ‘straights’.

A separate boned bodice and trained skirt of ivory satin, with an overdress of black and ivory silk net embroidered with black, opaque and white glass beads in an asymmetrical design.

The all-over swirling design of the embroidery is typical of Vionnet’s designs at this date. The dropped-waist bodice is cut on the bias, and the skirt is constructed of four half circles, dipping at the back.

In 1958, Victor Steibel moved from Jacqmar and opened his own couture house in Cavendish Square. Famous for extremely stylish and feminine evening wear, he was the donor’s favourite designer, creating her wedding dress for her marriage to Lord Barnard in 1952.

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