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Posts tagged with 'decorative arts'

Hitched preview event

23 July 2010 by Sam

two women chatting at an exhibition

Fundraising and membership officer Sarah Houghton reports on a member’s event last night – which you could say went off without a hitch!

“Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue… and even something red was the theme of last night’s special event for members – a preview of the new exhibition at Sudley House – Hitched, wedding clothes and customs.

Opening to the public today, the exhibition showcases a small selection of the 120 wedding dresses in National Museums Liverpool’s collections, alongside a small number of outfits worn by grooms and pageboys.

Our members were treated to a fascinating insight into the exhibition by curator Pauline Rushton. We were taken on a historical journey of wedding attire, all very different in style; including a brown dress made of corded silk, dresses inspired by famous designers Paul Poiret and Christian Dior and a typical blue wartime wedding dress. The most modern piece on display is a dress on loan from the travelling community worn by Winifred Delaney for her wedding in March 2010. Read more…

Delicate barbed-wire beauties!

24 March 2010 by Lisa

Detail of a dress made of glass

Bodice of one of the glass dresses. It reads; ‘Light reflecting materials were thought to be able to ward off evil and preserve fertility’.

There is no doubt that Lady GaGa would give her bejewelled right arm to wear one of these sparkling dresses or corsets. But she’d be in for a shock if she tried! In ‘Dare to Wear: Glass Dresses by Diana Dias-Leão’ the dresses are made from glass and the corsets are made from real barbed-wire, entwined with beads or flowers. Diana told me that people have asked about buying these dresses and corsets to wear, but she has to tell them that they are purely ‘couture sculpture’. She makes all her creations at home rather than in a studio and once injured herself while working on a corset – she only realised when she looked down and saw the blood. Fashion can definitely be deadly! Read more…

Three is not a crowd

9 December 2009 by Alison

Lady stands infront of display case

Ruth Ball stands in front of her display ‘Glass, Metal & Fire’including the two recent additions

A few weeks ago I blogged about the installation of a new display of enamelled art by Ruth Ball. She had already donated a beautiful enamelled portrait of the Walker Art Gallery with two more portraits still to be finished.

Now these two additions have taken pride of place in the collection. The two pieces are of John Mayer and William Roscoe both collectors of art or antiquities whose collections have been donated to National Museums Liverpool (NML). Read more…

Retro fashion lovers

14 September 2009 by Lisa

Pale woman in a blue dress

She’s in fashion

You may think that retro fashion right now is all about shoulder pads, pink lippy and the influence of the 1980s. But some designers have shown that for the end of 2009, they are finding their inspiration in an era that is much more retro – try going back another 200 years to the 1780s!

Elle magazine has picked up on this trend, which they say is inspired by the paintings of the ‘Old Masters’ and did a whole spread on it in their September issue. Dolce & Gabbana have practically based their whole new collection around it, with sumptuous devoré velvet skirts, silk corsets in deep jewel colours and long flowing gowns with prints from paintings. We have several pieces of costume from the 18th century in our collections, one of which you can see here, which definitely has similarities to the D&G runway look below! Read more…

Sculptures and inspiration

17 August 2009 by Lisa

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to be allowed to tag along on a shoot of a video interview with internationally acclaimed artist, Emma Rodgers.

I went with our audio visual team to her house on the Wirral, where she has her studio. They needed to film Emma because her work is going to be included in our forthcoming exhibition ‘The Rise of Women Artists’ , which will be at the Walker Art Gallery from 23 October 2009 – 14 March 2010. This video would be used to create one of the interactive displays for visitors to explore in the gallery and also to make video clips for our website. Read more…

Sewing up your emotions

2 July 2009 by Lisa

Piece of cloth with embroidered letters: 'I keep believing in you'

Tracey Emin, In You, 2009. Embroidered cotton. 13 9/16 x 16 1/8 in. (34.5 x 41 cm) © the artist. Photo: Stephen White. Courtesy White Cube.

She might ignite controversy wherever she goes, but Tracey Emin’s artwork – particularly her sewn work – has an amazing skill that often seems to be overlooked. I checked out her latest exhibition ‘Those who suffer Love’ at the White Cube in London , which showed a range of neons, drawings and several sewn pieces.

Even if you don’t ‘get’ what she is trying to say, I think you’d have to try pretty hard to not appreciate the skill involved in sewing what looks like a sketched drawing on a six-foot piece of cloth. You get up close and there are hundreds of small and precise stitches which create something that appears to be quite devil-may-care. One of the tiniest pieces of cloth seemed to hold the most emotion – a sewn ‘sketch’ of a kneeling figure, with the words ‘no, no, no, no’ stitched above it.  Read more…

Sitting on art!

19 May 2009 by Lisa

Press Officer Ed Casson has been getting up close to a new installation at the Walker – read on to find out what he’s been up to…

A row of different coloured contemporary chairs

Sit on some art today!

Visitors to the Walker Art Gallery are being encouraged to take a seat to enjoy art. Six unusually-designed chairs have been placed in Room 15 for people to sit on and admire, and I was one of the first to try them out. The installation is titled ‘Sitting On Art’ and the chairs can be freely moved around the room.

Designs include Harry Bertoias’ uncomfortable-looking wire diamond chair (cushions definitely needed for any sustained sitting), Verner Panton’s 1960 blue plastic chair (the first design for a plastic chair that could be made by injection moulding in a single piece) and the 1988 Dr Glob chair by Philippe Starck (which simply has front and back legs of different sizes). Read more…

Fashion V Sport coming soon!

4 February 2009 by Lisa

This may be the closest I will get to a piece of Chanel clothing, but our curators of decorative arts are used to getting their hands on clothes from big names such as Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney in their everyday work!

Curator of Costume and Textiles, Pauline Rushton, has been working on our forthcoming ‘Fashion V Sport’ exhibition organised by the V&A, London, which opens on Friday 13 February at the Walker Art Gallery. You can see Pauline (below) unpacking some trainers from a huge collection featured in the exhibition, all belonging to an obsessive collector called Kish. Read more…

Tightening our belts? Fashion versus the credit crunch!

24 November 2008 by Lisa

So the prices of new potatoes and i-pods are going up and we’re being told to be prepared for a measly Christmas. But what does this mean for fashion? Will we be wearing polyester smocks for spring/summer 2009? Well one theory is that hemlines rise and fall with the stock market, so maybe we can expect ankle-skimming skirts to be everywhere. Though a recent article in the Guardian argues that this rule doesn’t really work as; ‘During the wartime years, arguably the period of greatest privation in modern history, hemlines were shorter than before or after the war.’ Read more…

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