Wednesday, 12 January 2011


So Monday this week involved a trip to the Winchester Discovery Centre to see an exhibition about fashion inspired by Art Deco and Tutankhamun. Dazzle is an exhibition 'celebrating the exquisite detail, glamour and design of the roaring twenties, the exhibition presents over 25 items from Hampshire County Council's collection.' Despite living and studying in Winchester for 3 years, I regrettably never went to see any exhibits there, but this was quite something. The space was small, but not tiny, and is part of the library where they also had another gallery on the ground floor which is currently showing work chosen by the Major.

Dazzle had the dresses presented down one central plinth on mannequins, and every dress was unique. One pale silk dress had to be displayed flat in a glass cabinet due to its fragile state, which only enhanced the beauty of the dressed. The heaviest dress weighed about 1.2K, which is, as a notice suggested, the same as 2.5 pairs of jeans, or jeans with a top and cardigan[about 1k]. The heaviest dress was heavily embroidered with tiny beads, as were most. My favourite dress was a cream dress with delightful beaded patterns which were based on the shape of comets. The colour co-ordination on the dresses were spectacular, my particular favourite, which almost made me gasp in its beauty, was a pink outfit, with a simple pattern, complicated with the beads to enhance it. The pink was complimented with pale purple and a slight other shades of this pale pink tone, large dark pink beads threaded in sequence to the pattern. The selection of dressed were each set apart from each other with their patterns and colours and yet they all had a very similar neck line, and length. 
 The exhibition was enhanced with large photos from the era of actresses and models who were wearing key accessories for the time. There were also two display cabinets which contained accessories such as shoes and head-wear, often using gold as a way to bring detail to the accessories. The shoes were not cheap with a modern price set between £45-75 which in the 20's was more than a weeks work for a maid or cook.
 Many of the patterns found in fashion was inspired by the art movement of the mid-20's, Art Deco and more interestingly the discover of Tutankhamun's tomb. The find in 1922 by Howard Carter was a world-wide sensation which led to many Egyptian motifs being a key inspiration for fashion for the decade with large defined shapes on many dresses.

Details here. A definite look for all who need inspiration and dazzling. 

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