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Get your fashion fix here!

9 February 2012 by Lisa

Gold platform shoes

 Ready to hit the town…

I always think that the best way to finish off an outfit is with a great pair of shoes. These fantastic metallic snakeskin-effect leather shoes are my favourite from last year. They were great for a fantastic wedding I went to in November as well as for Christmas parties! They have a small platform as there have been loads of 70s influenced trends around lately.

If you like 70s fashion, we’ve got a fantastic exhibition of 1970s clothes on at the Walker Art Gallery right now – ‘Feathercuts and Flares’. There is a pair of red and silver crocodile-skin leather platforms on display (below) that definitely remind me of my shoes.  Read more…

Men in hats!

15 August 2011 by Lisa

Which country do you think is the most stylish? France? Italy? Japan? We reckon that Spain should be giving the rest of the world some pointers after seeing this fashionable crew of students who recently came to visit our Finishing Touch exhibition!

A group of male students in ladies hats

They would fit right in at the races, wouldn’t they?

The group visits Liverpool and the surrounding area every year and they decided to really get in the spirit of the exhibition by trying on the hats that are in the exhibition’s resource area. We think they look fab!

They were staying in the region for a month as part of an English language program and cultural experience and told our Curator of Decorative Arts, Alyson Pollard, that they thoroughly enjoyed their visit and are looking forward to coming back again soon. Read more…

We need photos of your flares!

10 August 2011 by Lisa

People in 1970s clothes

Lovely 1970s gear!

Ah flares. Make mine high-waisted in a dark blue denim please, with sailor-style buttons! (I still can’t quite say goodbye to my skinny jeans though.) Our upcoming exhibition at the Walker, ‘Feather cuts and flares’, will also be embracing 70s fashion by showing costume including bohemian pieces and shimmering glam rock platforms.

The clothes are ready to go on show but Dave Moffat, our Assistant Curator of Decorative Art, is on the look out for images to be used in the exhibition. Read more…

East meets West – a beautiful silk kimono on display

27 July 2011 by Lisa

Silk kimono from the early 20th century

This beautiful silk kimono is featured in our ‘Art in Revolution: Liverpool 1911’ exhibition, because one of the paintings on show depicts a lady called Dorothy Reilly wearing it. Dorothy Reilly was the wife of Charles Reilly, who held the Roscoe Chair of Architecture at Liverpool’s University from 1904. Albert Lipczinski completed the painting during 1911-1913 so we can assume that the kimono is also from around the same time.

You can’t quite appreciate how amazing the detail is on it from these images but the glory is in the embroidery along the back, which includes birds, trees and even a turtle! Read more…

These boots were made for walking…

6 May 2011 by Lisa

When shopping for footwear, there is nothing more satisfying than getting a new pair of boots. This vintage brown leather pair that I’m wearing today are a particular favourite of mine – you can see them here – a bit Victorian I like to think!

So you can imagine my excitement at being introduced to this fab pair of boots, which will be on display later this month at the Lady Lever Art Gallery. They will be shown as part of ‘The Finishing Touch’, an exhibition of women’s accessories from our collections, dating from 1830-1940. Read more…

William and Kate get ‘Hitched’

28 April 2011 by Dawn

A white wedding dress with a full and fancy skirt

A dress fit for a Princess. (Traveller wedding dress, 2010).

Little did we know when we opened the Hitched: wedding clothes

and customs exhibition last Summer that its closing weekend would coincide with that most lauded of all nuptial ceremonies – the Royal Wedding.

As speculation grows about Ms Middleton’s dress, wedding fashion through the ages is once again the subject of intense media and public interest. Kensington Palace is displaying a set of Royal dresses to mark the occasion, tracing style changes from Princess Charlotte’s 1816 silver-embellished number to Princess Alexandra of Kent’s magnificent 1963 lace creation. And tomorrow another dress (and designer) will join the history books! Read more…

New books available to buy and win

31 August 2010 by Karen

Book cover showing The Beatles and The Zutons

The Beat Goes On: Liverpool, Popular Music and the Changing City

It’s all go on the publications front at NML with new titles arriving and due shortly.

You may already know that we recently launched a book to accompany the Hitched exhibition at Sudley House. Also called Hitched it features 13 beautiful wedding outfits in full colour, together with close-up details and many original wedding photographs. It’s a snip at £4.95 and is available through our venue shops and our online bookshop.

If you enjoyed The Beat Goes On exhibition at World Museum last year then the new book of the same name is for you. It is a critical historical account of popular music in Liverpool, looking at why the city is so important musically and how has it sustained its importance, from the Beatles to the Zutons and beyond. It’s also available to buy online and through our venues. Read more…

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…

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…



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Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.