Saturday, December 13

Promising Yellow: Gorgeous Vintage Fashion at the Manchester Gallery

The waists were even teenier in real-life!
Whilst in Manchester for the wonderful Christmas market (and delicious mulled wine!!) we stumbled upon the 'cotton couture' exhibition! A gorgeous collection of catwalk pieces from the 1950s made entirely of cotton!

Dear reader, I was drooling. I was in heaven! I felt like Doris Day, Audrey Hepburn and Rita Hayworth were suddenly in the room with me. I have a deep deep love for that time period - the movies, music, singers, celebrity personalities and of course the style!

For those of you who don't know, Manchester is more than just the hometown of Daphne from Frasier, it's probably England's second biggest city and has a rich past in cotton manufacturing. While the American South was busy growing the cotton the merchants in Manchester were busy dyeing it, spinning it, weaving it and making all sorts of beautiful fabrics to drape over our sometimes grey-day world. At one point Manchester manufactured nearly 50% of the world's cotton! 

But you didn't come here for history you came to gaze in wonder at these beautiful pieces.

The exhibition runs until 14th June 2015. The outfits were all designed to challenge the image of cotton as simply for summer dresses, kidswear and underwear;

"The Cotton Board deliberately challenged these established views by commissioning ball gowns, cocktail dresses and tailored suits, all in a striking range of different cottons." (from the Manchester Galleries website)

The details on this white gown are B-E-A-utiful!! and it's hard to believe it's not the finest lace or brocade! This is definitely my favourite <3

Would you wear this walking around town to keep warm? It's a coat! Can you imagine buying a coat with a 3 foot train?

What really struck me was how teeny the waists were! We always think of our models today representing dangerously thin and unhealthy ideals whereas the women of yesteryear were curvy and healthy and had hips etc. . . but looking at these pieces the models of the 1950s were just as small as our size zeros today, if not quite so tall. I suppose we look at movies where sirens like Jane Russell and Rita Hayworth sashay around with dangerous curves and happily put on our rose-coloured glasses!

My favourites - just gorgeous!

Each dress has a little info board showing a model wearing the dress and the year and designer.

You'll have to excuse the blurriness, my little point-and-shoot doesn't do well in dim lighting!

It's a beautiful exhibition so if you happen to be in Manchester over the next 6 months or so pop in and have a look, it's free gallery with lots of different exhibition rooms. For more information about the exhibition and how the dresses came about click here to go to the Manchester City Galleries website.

Which is your favourite? What can you see yourself wearing?

Ciao for now

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to comment with a question or your own top tip!