Little black dress @ Portsmouth city museum

Whilst working on dazzle i had also been working on another exhibition, Little black dress.

The intention of little black dress was to show the cross cultural and age appeal of the LBD and demonstrate how after more than a 100 years of popularity the LBD is still at the top of its fashion game. What fascinated me most whilst working on this exhibition though is how much we actually all wear black and how so many significant fashion moments have revolved around that little black dress. Who can forget Liz Hurley in her safety pinned Versace number or Julia Roberts vintage Valentino gown? And mostly importantly what about Audrey Hepburn in her iconic 1961 (50 years ago exactly!) black Givenchy dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. A dress that looks as elegant and timeless then as it does now.

The little black dress exhibition has become my baby, i picked most of the garments for it, provisionally wrote a large amount of the text and labels and liased with the conservator to make sure everything was conserved and ready for the exhibition!

Now with two weeks and a day until opening the nerves are really starting to kick in as to whether it will all be the great success i have hoped for! Here’s fingers crossed…

HCMS times…let begin




So, i started in September working in the historical dress and textiles department and what a truly wonderful experience it has been! I have learnt and seen so so much in the 4 1/2 months since i arrived it is unbelievable.

To begin with my job mostly involved going through old vogues to try and find imagery related to “The little black dress” for an upcoming exhibition, and just genreally getting to know the collection (its huge there are over 20,000 items in dress and textiles alone).

My job got VERY exciting when it came to working on “Dazzle” though, an exhibition which was recently held at Winchester discovery centre. Dazzle was the first opportunity for many of the 1920s dresses in the collection to go on display. This is because the dresses are incredibly fragile and a lot of conservation work was needed to get them ready. Not only this but each dress had to have a bespoke mannequin for it(made from layers of hessian papier mache).

I was lucky enough to write some of the text for the exhibition, this included writing an “information book” to enchance the visitor experience, and also creating my own wall to give background info on the Art deco movement.

Dazzle was a rip roaring sucsess with the highest visitor figures for any exhibition held at Winchester Discovery centre. Its sucsess really was a testament to everyone who worked on the exhibition, and it was great that so many beautiful objects finally had the chance to go out on display!

A 7 month sabbatical later…

What is really awful is not that i have not written here for so long, rather that i didn’t realise how long it had been! I thought, sureley september, October?

Anyway, since i last wrote here so many amazing things have happened.
First off i finished my work placement with Tatty Devine. Oh my i had the best three months there it was not only fun, but i met some amazing peoplem (the staff were completely lovely) and really got to see inside the design process.

When i left i got given the BEST leaving present imaginable too. One of their giant petal necklaces. Now undoubtedly one of my favourite jewellery pieces.

From Tatty i ventured further south and on to my next placement with Hampshire Museums Service. Goinf from fashions cutting edge to fashions history is a massive step! Especially when it involves moving to a completely new place where the only people you know is your Mum and her cousin!
Anyway more about the amazingness that is HCMS in a sec!