❚ WOW FACTOR TIMES 50! The ostrich feather evening coat seen in close-up (above) and matching crystal and feather cocktail dress by Yves St Laurent (below) were owned by the English prima ballerina Margot Fonteyn and worn to go nightclubbing in the 1960s with her stage partner Rudolf Nureyev, the charismatic Russian dancer who had defected to work in the West. They are showing from today until end of the year in the exhibition, 50 Fabulous Frocks which have been chosen from a world-class collection of originals to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the council-run Fashion Museum in Bath. Dame Margot was a great supporter of the earlier Museum of Costume and donated a number of her personal clothes in the 60s.
Rosemary Harden, principal curator of the museum, wants to show the richness of its collection through personal wardrobe moments and key landmarks in fashion history “ranging from our oldest piece, an exquisite 17th-century silver tissue dress, to one of the latest Burberry creations”.
The display also includes a gold embroidered Georgian court dress and a delicate 1870s gauze bustle day dress alongside an Ossie Clark trouser suit, the Chanel suit and stars of 20th-century couture – Schiaparelli, Poiret, Vionnet, Dior – plus today’s most desired names such as Erdem and John Rocha.
The Fashion Museum originated with Doris Langley Moore, a designer, collector, writer and scholar who gave her famous private collection of costume to the city of Bath. Recently it was listed by CNN as one of the world’s Top 10 fashion museums.
➢ Bath in Fashion 2013 is a week-long festival (April 13–21) showcasing celebrities such Norman Parkinson in a centenary exhibition, an illustration masterclass with David Downton, talks with Michael Jackson’s costume designer Michael Bush, and Sir Roy Strong. Plus catwalk shows and craft workshops