Friday, 18 July 2014

In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion

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Top | H&M tee printed by Helen
Shorts | Miss Selfridge
Bag | Zara

This week I felt totally under dressed as I visited the fantastic In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion exhibition at The Queen's Gallery, Holyrood Palace.

I know I love vintage but this period is waaay beyond anything I thought could inspire modern garb. Although I know a little about the clothing of the times, it was incredible to see the transition through these periods in one space. Admittedly slower moving than our modern fast fashion, there are distinct peaks in the materials used, cuts of fabric, embellishment, hairstyles and beards favoured. The exhibition brings this to life with huge beautifully illustrated modern canvases that mirror modern fashion designers' sketchbooks. These are slotted alongside the original oil paintings and pieces.  The guidebook is cleverly designed as a modern glossy fashion magazine with the 'trends' of the times (as explained in my June round up post). While I adored the book, the luster and detail of the paintings is sensational and really has to be seen in the flesh.

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My favourite pieces all surrounded the clothing of children. There is a tiny suit of armour worn by a 12 year old prince into battle, which is startling to see. I also like the story of 'breeching' for boys. I already knew of this tradition but it was fascinating to see the formal portraits commissioned to mark what was clearly a momentous occasion. Most interesting for me was the addition of reins in children's clothing. I didn't realise these matching inbuilt straps had any function but it really makes sense- I'm all for walking leads on children! Perhaps this is the one trend to bring back? Apart from the outlandish ruff, of course.

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One of the coolest things I discovered was that people used mica overlays on their miniatures to change the look of their portraits. I couldn't resist trying it out- I look pretty damn good in a beard!

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If you are feeling jealous you can make your own by downloading the app here

In all seriousness, the laces, jewels and descriptions were brilliantly curated. I recommend that anyone with an interest in fashion history should make it down. You'll have to be quick though- this is the last weekend!
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