Old, New, Mostly Borrowed And One Blue

Old, New, Mostly Borrowed And One Blue


I did start this write up last week but never had time to finish it.  I hope you still want to read about ‘behind the scenes at the exhibition’ and it started so:

Well it’s now Friday and I am not sure where the last week has gone…. can anyone tell me.  The exhibition opens in two days …… HELP!   Early on Tuesday morning, Paula and I started to really get to grips with the setting up.  Paula was around last year to help me with the embroidery exhibition, so I knew that I could leave her to crack on with the jobs that needed to be done.  So, after much moving of dresses, unzipping bags, unpacking boxes and steaming, we started to see an exhibition taking shape.  Lots of people whose dresses would be on display were popping in which exciting, as you never knew who was going to pop their head round the door.  Judy Theobald, never one to miss an opportunity, also popped in as she wanted to interview a selection of the lenders.  Claudia Allife, a student of Fashion and Design at Lincoln University arrived to drop her exhibit off and ended up staying for about 7 hours … thank you Claudia!

Paula ‘working’

I left her to this whilst I had to go, armed with a horsebox to the University of Lincoln, to collect the mannequins.  Once these were in place, we could then start to hang more dresses.    The Long Gallery looked like a kind of headless cocktail party … I swear that they started talking when we left the room.  At 8 pm, we had done enough but would be back bright and early the next morning to crack on.

On the Wednesday morning, it was a case of hanging more dresses, getting the creases out of them and deciding the correct position for them and we were beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Karen Shanahan from Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum was also on hand to help .. it was MuBu Joint Operations!  Karen, when it is your turn to host an exhibition, I would love to help but hopefully I will be in warmer climes by then!!!

The winning dress from the Competition ‘A Designer Dress for a Doddington Wedding’ was also being delivered as well as the dress designed by Joanne Tsouvallaris, finalist in the Bridal Buyers competition 2010.  Out of 299 entrants, 14 entries went through with Joanne finishing in the final 6.   The fabrics were sponsored by Ian Stuart.

By late morning what we were doing started to resemble an exhibition of wedding dresses.

It is now Thursday and the day that Princess Mary’s dress is due to arrive.  It was due to arrive at Doddington Hall around 1pm but delivery was early and arrived around 12.30.  We had a group visit in the Hall when it arrived, so it was lovely for the visitors to see a little piece of history in the making!  Personally, I couldn’t actually believe it was actually at Doddington.  We all put on our gloves and set to work taking it out of its travel crate and into the cabinet which had been specially made.  Eva, the Curator from the Royal School of Needlework was also on hand as she had delivered a dress from the Collection of the Royal School of Needlework.  Let me say, the dress looks stunning and has to be one of my favourite exhibits.  We are very grateful to The Earl and Countess of Harewood and the Trustess of Harewood House Trust for allowing the dress to come to Doddington.

On Friday we were ready to number the exhibits and finish off the catalogue which was a mammoth job … roll on Sunday!


Comments are closed.

About this Sponsor

A wonderful and exciting collection of interesting and historical wedding dresses dating from the 1820s to the present day.  Many of the dresses have been loaned by private collectors as well as national museums.  A number of the dresses on show, have been loaned by a number of the great houses of England:  Burghley, Belvoir Castle, Somerleyton Hall to name just a few.

The interesting dresses will include one made from the fleece of a Lincolnshire Longwool sheep, loo paper and a complete knitted dress include the sandwiches and cake destined for the reception.  Canine wedding dresses will also be featured.