Twilight talks about fashion.

Twilight talks about fashion.

Subjects ranging from Jane Austen to fashions inspired by Caribbean culture will be amongst topics featured when the Fashion Museum Bath hosts a series of Twilight Talks this autumn.

fashion museum

The talks, at the Bath & North East Somerset Council run Museum, will also include subjects such as the use of fur and feathers in fashion and a fascinating insight into the life of British stage and screen actress Vivien Leigh.

Cllrs Paul Myers (Conservative, Midsomer Norton Redfield), Cabinet Member for Economic and Community Regeneration said: “This is a wonderful programme of talks put together by staff at the Fashion Museum, covering a diverse range of topics.   I am delighted they have been able to incorporate events to coincide with the Jane Austen Festival and Black History Month.  The talks should prove to be informative, inspiring and thought provoking.”

fashion museum

All talks take place at the Fashion Museum from 6.15pm to 7.15pm. Tickets cost £10 adult/£8 student including a glass of wine, and can be booked


Jane Austen

Thursday 14 September 2017

A talk about fashions at the time of Jane Austen, to coincide with the annual Jane Austen Festival that takes place in Bath each September.


Discovering Pauline Baynes

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Hear all about Alberto Ceccatelli’s research discovering the life and work of children’s illustrator Pauline Baynes, who, as a child, owned a vibrant jumper now on display at the Fashion Museum. Later in life, Baynes worked with JRR Tolkien and illustrated many children’s books including The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

The talk will be a conversation in Italian and English, with simultaneous translation.


Re-use and Re-purpose: Understanding Jessica Ogden

Thursday 12 October 2017

Join Professor Carol Tulloch as she talks about how British/Jamaican fashion designer Jessica Ogden’s work re-making, re-cycling and customising pre-used textiles is rooted in a centuries old Caribbean tradition. Part of Black History Month.


Vivien Leigh – Actress and Movie Star

Thursday 9 November 2017

Keith Lodwick will talk about British stage and screen actress Vivien Leigh, drawing on the archive of her letters and diaries at the Theatre Museum Collection. Leigh’s 1940s red embroidered jacket is on display at the Fashion Museum.


Fashioned from Nature

Thursday 23 November 2017

Drawing on her research for the V&A’s forthcoming exhibition Fashioned From Nature, Edwina Ehrman will talk about the fascinating role of fur and feathers in fashion from the 18th century to the present day. Her talk will particularly focus on the human impulse to improve on and commodify nature.

For more information visit:


Take note of Jane Austen

Take note of Jane Austen

A rare £5 note, engraved with a tiny portrait of Jane Austen, is to be presented to a visitor centre dedicated to the author this month.


Detail from a note similar to the one to be presented.

The note, reputedly worth £50,000, will be given to the Jane Austen Centre, in Bath, by Graham Short, the micro-artist responsible for the engraving.

The presentation will take place at the Centre, in Gay Street, at 11am on Tuesday July 18; the 200th Anniversary of the author’s death.

The news puts an end to months of speculation that the fiver may have been put into circulation, after Mr Short paid an incognito visit to the well-known tourist attraction earlier this year.

Mr Short, who lives in Birmingham, said he visited the centre to learn more about Jane Austen as felt he “really ought to know more about her life than I do”.

He added: “It will be framed with glass on the back and the front so you can see through it.”

David Lassman, from the Jane Austen Centre said: “We’re obviously very appreciative of this gift from Graham and it will go on display where visitors to the exhibition can view it.”

Mr Short originally engraved 5mm portraits of Jane Austen on five £5 notes, along with classic quotes from her books, making each one worth thousands of pounds.


Graham Short known as the ‘world’s smallest engraver’ who engraves works of art on pin heads and the eye of a needle at his workshop near Birmingham. Picture David Parker 15.02.16

He then put four of them into circulation as a Willy Wonka type ‘Golden Ticket’, so members of the public who found them would receive an unexpected windfall.

The first £5 note was spent by Mr Short in a cafe in Blackwood, South Wales in 2016, and was discovered not far away just two weeks later.

A second one, spent in Scotland, was discovered after turning up in a Christmas card, while the third was donated back by a kindhearted pensioner to go towards a good cause.

The fourth £5 note, however, spent in Melton Mowbray, Leicstershire, has yet to be found.

The opportunity to see one of these unique engraved notes up close though, will now be afforded anyone visiting the Jane Austen Centre from July 18.

While the chance to hear Mr Short talk about his work is also on offer, when he appears at Bath’s Jane Austen Festival, which runs between 8th-17th September 2017.

Look what’s brewing.

Look what’s brewing.

A collaboration between a Bath tourist attraction and a micro-brewery has resulted in the creation of a new beer in honour of the city’s most famous resident.

The Jane Austen Centre, located in the city’s Gay Street and the Bath Brew House, have joined forces to produce the Jane Austen 200 Beer.

The new brew celebrates Jane Austen’s bicentenary year – which includes the 200th Anniversary of her death and the posthumous publication of her two ‘Bath’ novels.


Senior Jane Austen Centre ‘Greeter’ Martin Salter and Austen Festival Director Jackie Herring help add the new brew ingredients at Bath Ales Brew House.

To ferment the partnership, a Centre team, including Senior Meeter & Greeter Martin Salter and Austen Festival director, Jackie Herring, recently visited the brewery.

While there, they helped in the brewing process of the new drink, which is described as a light, hoppy and refreshing ale with added Earl Grey flavouring.

Although it may seem an unlikely tribute to the creator of such classics of English Literature as Pride & Prejudice and Emma, Austen herself was a dab hand at brewing.

Centre General Manager, Paul Crossey said: ‘In her time, beer was regarded as being safer than water to drink and so many families, included Austen’s, brewed their own.

Max Cadman, Head Brewer from the Bath Brew House said: ‘We really enjoyed brewing this beer with the Jane Austen Centre, this is a style of beer I’ve wanted to brew for a

while so this has been a great opportunity to use a recipe that includes Earl Grey tea. I’m sure this beer would be one that Jane Austen would enjoy drinking!

Fans of the author will be able to enjoy the celebratory tipple from July 1st; when the first pint will be pulled at 11am at the Bath Brew House.

It will then be available later the same day at the annual Jane Austen Summer Ball, which takes place at the city’s Guildhall.

As well as the Summer Ball, the Jane Austen 200 beer will be available from the Bath Brew House throughout July and the Jane Austen Festival, in Bath, in September.

Austen visited Bath several times in the 1790s, was a resident for six years, between 1801 and 1806, and set two books in the city – Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.

Novel idea

Novel idea

How about a selfie with Jane Austen?  That’s on offer in the reception area of Bath Guildhall where a bust of the writer – sculpted by Charlotte Hern and cast in the Modern Souvenir Company workshop in the city – is on display.


The gold covered bust currently on display at Bath Guildhall.

It commemorates the 200th years since the death of Ms Austen – a resident in Bath for nearly six years. It has been gilded in 24 ct gold leaf by Robert Grace of Grace of London. The bust will be on tour over the summer and auctioned for charity in the autumn.


You are invited to take your photo with Jane and post on social media using #janeontour or #janeausten200

Jane – the woman behind the books.

Jane – the woman behind the books.

Bath will be joining in celebrations this year to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of writer Jane Austen – whose six major novels of love amongst the landed gentry – at the end of the 18th century – eventually brought her an international fame she didn’t live to enjoy.


One of the boards in a public exhibition of some of the city’s ‘Greats’ held alongside Bath Abbey some time ago.

Jane lived in Bath for almost six years – after her father – the Reverend George Austen  -brought the family here on his retirement.

Local historian, author and journalist Diana White has decided to organise an all-day event at St Swithin’s Church in the city on Saturday, July 22nd. It’s where the Rev Austen is buried and – in the previous church on this spot – where he married his wife Cassandra.


Diana White

She has also just published a book which takes a different approach to much of what has already been written about Jane.

The life and Times of the Woman Behind the Books’ –published by Folly Books – explores both the person she was and the world in which she lived in.


The new book on Jane Austen.

Bath Newseum asked her how hard it had been to find something new to say about Jane.

Diana – who is also a member of the Mayor of Bath’s Corps of Honorary Guides – is Chair of the Bath and Bristol Jane Austen Group. Her book is published by Folly Books and the website address is

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A statue that looks good enough to eat?

A statue that looks good enough to eat?

Bath is not exactly running a surplus on public sculpture.

queen vic vag

The statue of Queen Victoria at the Victoria Art Gallery.

Apart from Queen Victoria – sitting half way up an art gallery wall – and poor Rebecca getting no more than a dribble from her well – the majority of stone figures surround the Great Bath – the centrepiece of the city’s Roman remains.

Rebecca Fountain

The Rebecca Fountain.


roman baths

Emperors and Governors at the Roman Bath.


However, the wonderful world of commerce is fighting back.

Never mind promoting water, this little fellow welcomes you at the doorway to ‘great food’ – and not far away, a Regency period dressed little lady looks good enough to eat.


On guard in the name of ‘great food’ eh?

This new kid on the block is promoting the chocolates you can buy inside the shop she welcomes you into, but l wouldn’t suggest trying to bite her.


A statue that looks good enough to eat!

Tempting though she looks, with her Jane Austen styled appearance, she is NOT made of the edible stuff.


History of Fashion in 100 objects.

History of Fashion in 100 objects.

Bath’s world-renowned  Fashion Museum will unveil a major new exhibition called ‘A History of Fashion in 100 Objects’ on March 19, 2016.

Celebrating fashion throughout history, from the 1500s to the present day, this headline exhibit showcases 100-star objects drawn from the Fashion Museum’s world-class collection.

The exhibition, which will run until January 1, 2018, will feature garments and fashion accessories that created the look of history or hit the headlines.

From a late 1500s ‘blackwork’ embroidered man’s shirt, dating from the time of the Spanish Armada, to a ‘body-con’ Galaxy dress of the early 2000s, at a time when the world was facing economic downturn, the exhibition will present iconic and influential garments and accessories spanning five centuries of innovative fashion design.

The Fashion Museum is run by Bath & North East Somerset Council. Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “The Fashion Museum is consistently named as one of the world’s top fashion museums. This new exhibition will give local residents and visitors a chance to see some of the finest fashion garments and accessories from the museum’s fabulous collection.”

Fashion is defined as the latest style of dress, decoration or behaviour, and the new exhibition ‘A History of Fashion in 100 Objects’ at the Fashion Museum will showcase artefacts that tell personal stories or are symptomatic of moments in world history.

One of the earliest fashion garments to go on display is an intricately embroidered woman’s jacket (Object 2) – known at the time as a waistcoat – worked in coloured silks and glittering metal thread and dating from the time of Shakespeare.

Fast forward over 300 years, and visitors to the exhibition will also be able to see another embroidered jacket (Object 75), this time from 1948, by Paris couturier Lucien Lelong and worn by major film star ‘Gone with the Wind’ actress Vivien Leigh.

ID02 I75 Embroidered woman’s waistcoat, 1610s (left) Embroidered jacket by Lucien Lelong, 1948 (right)

Embroidered woman’s waistcoat, 1610s (left) Embroidered jacket by Lucien Lelong, 1948 (right)

Graceful silk robes and embroidered and tailored coats for men, the styles fashionable during Bath’s Georgian heyday, will also be on display, along with Regency fashions from the time of Jane Austen.
Big names of fashion history feature in the exhibition ‘A History of Fashion in 100 Objects’. Visitors will see gowns by the first fashion designers in history, including the Houses of Worth and Lucile, through to names that are more familiar today, such as Christian Dior and McQueen.

The House of Worth in Paris was the ‘go-to’ designer in the 1890s, and the exhibition will present a grey silk Worth gown (Object 53) worn by Mary Chamberlain, an American by birth and wife of British politician Joseph Chamberlain. British designer Lucile, Lady Duff Gordon (1863-1935), was one of the first women fashion designers, an astute business woman, and also a Titanic survivor.

‘A History of Fashion in 100 Objects’ will feature a Lucile embroidered silk chiffon wedding dress (Object 61) worn by Mabel Chappell on her wedding to Robert Fuller in 1907. Mabel and Robert went on to live at Great Chalfield Manor, a medieval manor house in Wiltshire near to Bath, now managed by the National Trust.

ID77 Cream silk dress by Christian Dior, 1950s 2

Cream silk dress by Christian Dior, 1950’s

Christian Dior (1905-1957) is one of the most famous fashion designers in history; the work of this master couturier is represented in ‘A History of Fashion in 100 Objects’ in an original New Look suit (Objects 74) from 1947, worn by British ballerina Margot Fonteyn, as well as a cream silk shantung halter-neck dress (Object 77) from the mid-1950s.

The finale of ‘A History of Fashion in 100 Objects’ at the Fashion Museum is a selection of the most recent choices in the museum’s noted Dress of the Year collection commencing with the Dress of the Year 2011, a magnificent dress in ivory silk tulle embroidered with tiny silver bullion eagle motifs (Object 96) by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.

Each year the Fashion Museum invites a fashion expert to select a ‘Dress of the Year’ that epitomises – for them – the year in fashion and the chosen ensemble becomes part of the museum collection. ‘A History of Fashion in 100 Objects’ ends with the Dress of the Year 2015, two outfits by visionary British menswear designer Craig Green, giving an up-to-the-minute contemporary take on historical fashion at the Fashion Museum.

Visitors to ‘A History of Fashion in 100 Objects’ will also be able to engage with additional aspects of the Fashion Museum’s collection through extra displays incorporated as part of the exhibition.
This includes 10 ‘shoe moments’ throughout history – from Georgian silk shoes to Air Jordan trainers – plus a children’s trail showcasing 10 fashion looks for kids, from the 1700s to the 2000s.

The exhibition will also include four collections of exquisite accessories to dress – gloves, fans, and jewellery – amassed variously by an artist, an expert collector, and passionate enthusiasts, all of whom have directly or indirectly gifted or loaned their collections to the Fashion Museum.

This includes, from the 1600s, the collection of historic gloves collected by artist Robert Spence is now owned by the Glove Collection Trust and loaned to the Fashion Museum through the generosity and support of the Worshipful Company of Glovers of London, one of the City of London’s ancient livery companies.

Find out more on Twitter – you can follow @Fashion_Museum or use the #HFx100 hashtag

The Fashion Museum will remain open during the exhibition changeover from January to March 2016. However some parts of the museum may be closed during this period and visitors are advised to check the Fashion Museum website before they travel.

Entry to the Fashion Museum is free to Bath and North East Somerset residents with a Discovery Card, and from January 18 to February 12, 2016, it is offering free admission to all visitors.