Why is it – when l step down the basement stairs at the Assembly Rooms – l always get a sense of what Aladdin or Howard Carter must have felt when – in their darkness – was revealed the sight of treasures beyond compare.
Ok – let’s not get too carried away here, as you do know what to expect!
You will have bought a ticket to visit Bath’s Fashion Museum – but this is no giant wardrobe that you have paid to rummage though.
Instead, it’s much more of an underground arcade of ‘shop windows’ displaying an impressive and highly colourful feast of fashion through the ages. A ‘snapshot’ view of dress history from around 1600 to the present day.
There’s more than 100,000 objects down there – most of it carefully stored away – but currently the museum is illustrating “A History of Fashion in 100 Objects” – and has just published a book to run alongside the exhibition.
Also, from this Friday, May 17th, you’ll be able to go behind the scenes and admire ‘star’ artefacts – unpacked from the museum’s 19th century boxed collection – each with a story to tell about its place in social history.
If that wasn’t enough to get you forming an orderly queue, the museum has also teamed up with artist Rozanne Hawksley who – after visiting the collection was so inspired by its display of 17th century gloves – that she started using this finger-fitting garment as a material for her artwork. There’s a fair bit of it on display too!
Bath’s world famous Roman baths were excavated and revealed to the world in the late 19th century, but l think the city has another treasure to unearth.
At some point soon the Fashion Museum’s lease will expire and then – maybe – this world-renowned collection can be moved upstairs to a more accessible city location.
Bath Newseum has been talking to the Fashion Museum’s manager, Rosemary Harden, and asked her to explain what was so special about the new – behind the scenes – attraction.
The Fashion Museum website has more information – about opening times and admission fees – via https://www.fashionmuseum.co.uk