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Fashion Museum to stage ‘Lace in Fashion’ exhibition

The Fashion Museum Bath has announced that its special exhibition for 2017 will be dedicated to ‘Lace in Fashion’, showcasing more than 50 pieces exploring how lace has been used in fashion from the time of Shakespeare to the present day.

Opening on February 4, the exhibition has been curated by Elly Summers, who has selected lace pieces from the museum’s extensive collection dating from the1500s to the present day, to sit alongside loans from contemporary fashion designers including Burberry and Karl Lagerfeld.

The exhibition will look into a variety of themes, including the development of lace making from the 1500s to 1700s, the mechanisation of lacemaking in the 1800s and the new lace-making techniques, fashionable lace from 1909 to the 1970s, as well as how today’s catwalk is challenging traditional concepts of lace in fashion, with fashion looks by Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Erdem and Christopher Kane.

There will also be a section dedicated to the Royals featuring a lace dress made in 1805 that may be the only surviving dress worn by Queen Charlotte, as well as two dresses by British fashion designer Norman Hartnell, worn in the 1950s by Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother.

Fashion Museum Bath to dedicate special exhibition for 2017 to lace

Other highlights will include the showcase of a smock dating from 1580-1600 with Flemish bobbin lace on the sleeves and collar, which is one of the oldest objects in the exhibition. This will sit alongside a delicate silver tissue dress made from fine silk woven with silver thread and trimmed with parchment lace, which dates from around 1660.

Fashion Museum to stage ‘Lace in Fashion’ exhibition

There will also be a number of modern lace designs including two looks from Burberry’s spring/summer 2016 collection, a menswear look including a lace caban and shirt, and a womenswear look featuring a silk and lace dress, as well as a navy blue lace dress worn by Lea Seydoux in the James Bond film Spectre, which has been loaned to the museum by Australian design duo Lover, and a 1991 Karl Lagerfeld dress worn by supermodel Linda Evangelista in British Vogue.

‘Lace in Fashion’ will sit alongside the Fashion Museum’s other major exhibition, ‘A History of Fashion in 100 Objects’, which runs until January 1, 2019 and the ‘Dress of the Year 2016’ that will be announced and go on display during February to become the 'grand finale' exhibit and 100th object in the museum's headline exhibition.

‘Lace in Fashion’ will run from February 4, 2017 until 1 January, 2018.

Images: courtesy of Fashion Museum Bath