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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…

Sailor chic from Mrs. Tinne collection

28 April 2009 by Lisa

Striped summer shoes

From 1910 to 2010, sailor chic rocks!

When choosing an outfit for a sunny day (though it is raining right now) you can’t go wrong with navy and white. In particular, I’m very into the nautical stuff that is around at the moment. On a recent trip to Beyond Retro in Shoreditch I had to be talked out of purchasing a vintage sailor bib top, possibly taken from a real sailor in the mists of time (that’s an actual era you know.)

In 1910, fashion fanatic and philanthropist Mrs. Emily Tinne would have been right on trend for this summer with her quirky sailor inspired espadrilles, which are now on show as part of A Sweet Life at Sudley House until Spring 2010. Read more…

Strut your stuff and be a winner!

15 April 2009 by Lisa

Man standing against a graffiti wall

Photo by Ibrahim Rahmin and Ian Burns, from the Street Life exhibition

Liverpool street fashion has always been an inspiration for professional and budding photographers alike. In 2006 we held the Street Life exhibition at the National Conservation Centre, which celebrated the unique styles of the residents of Liverpool no matter what their age. Our current Fashion V Sport exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery has inspired Creative and Media Diploma students from Liverpool Community College to create some striking images that explore current fashion trends among young people today. These images have been brought together to form Street Fashion, an exhibition in two parts; photographs by Level 2 students are currently on display until 29 April and Level 3 students will show from 1-31 May. Read more…

Liverpool Fashion Week

11 March 2009 by Lisa

Models in bright clothes on a catwalk

Neon brights and clashing colours ruled the catwalk at the sports/casual show.

Following the fashion theme from Dawn’s previous post, today it was Liverpool One’s turn to host a series of fashion shows as part of Liverpool Fashion Week. Performing arts students from LIPA worked the catwalk (with plenty of attitude) wearing sports and casual wear from brands such as Blue Ink, Henleys and Fred Perry. Trainers were a big feature, with models carrying them around their necks while walking barefoot! Neon colours featured heavily, perhaps a hangover from the recent nu-rave trend, giving the whole show a bright, spring-like feel. It think my favourite t-shirt from the show was the Mr Men one from Blue Ink with the slogan ‘I left Mr Grumpy at home’, very cool. Read more…

Fashion from the street…

13 February 2009 by Lisa

To celebrate the opening of our new Fashion V Sport exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery, I’ve put together a Flickr gallery of some of the cool and stylish outfits worn by some of our private view guests.

Part of the exhibition examines street style and the variety of styles I saw in one evening was certainly varied and creative. Damian Quinn, the man responsible for the gold topped ‘Onthamike’ trainers from the ‘Play’ section, was wearing a similar pair on the night from his Supremebeing brand. On the other end of the scale, self-confessed trainer obsessive ‘Mookie’ told me about her Nike Air Force 1 trainers that she had customised using multi-coloured paint spatters. She had worn them on her Duke of Edinburgh hike, before giving them a new lease of life with her own design! Mookie is a creative apprentice at the moment so who knows, she might be a Footwear Director like Damian one day. 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…

Geek chic for spring

16 January 2009 by Lisa

A pair of glassses and a scarf

Geek chic: my new glasses and scarf.

As David Bowie would say; “fa-fa-fa-fa-fashion” – it’s a funny old thing. For spring/summer 2009 newspapers and magazines are saying ‘there are no trends this season, anything goes.’ Isn’t that just called individuality?! Anyway, while Yves Saint Laurent goes about trying to convince us that his new ‘cage boot’ is somehow beautiful (it’s not) and wearable (I doubt it) I had a couple of thoughts of my own about new items which I reckon are pretty cool right now.

Firstly, and perhaps most controversially, are ‘geek specs’. I’ve gone for a fetching pair of tortoiseshell Ray-Ban style ones from ebay. Admittedly, I am waiting to wear them on a night out where I won’t meet anyone I know, in case they exclaim; “I didn’t know you wore glasses!” and I have to sheepishly admit that I don’t and it’s just a so-called fashion thing. Maybe I’ll try them at a club-night in Bolton?

Secondly, following on from the end of 2008, I like knotted scarves. Avoiding looking like Dot Cotton is of course a consideration, but I think rolling a small one up and tying it with a knot sitting on top of your head kind of works. You feel a bit like a 1940s land girl. Sort of.

Lastly, my most recent addition is a slouchy longer-length blazer with an embroidered emblem on the pocket. Elle magazine seem to be mentioning this kind of thing as a good item to get your hands on – though I bet the version they featured is much more expensive than mine, which I got for a fiver from an ace vintage shop.

Also on the subject of fashion, check back here soon for regular blogs about the upcoming ‘Fashion V Sport’ exhibition that will open on Friday 13 February at the Walker Art Gallery. Expect a sequinned Chanel ‘wetsuit’, Stella McCartney sportswear and lots of trainers!

Now, if I could just fit some ‘party feet’ gel pads into those YSL cage boots, I’m sure they’d be really comfy?
Read more…

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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.