Putting On The Glitz – Lady Lever Art Gallery
I love going to exhibitions, especially fashion ones. Most of the time we have travelled down to London to see them. The travel is always worth it as I love spending some time down there. But amazingly, there was a brilliant fashion exhibition at the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight.
This gallery is a part of the Liverpool Museums, but being located on the Wirral in the quiet, picturesque village of Port Sunlight it can sometimes be overlooked by us locals.
The Lady Lever Art Gallery
The Lady Lever is a stunning building and holds wonderful pieces of art. It also runs different exhibitions throughout the year. The most recent being, “Putting on the Glitz”. It focused on women’s fashion in the 1930’s. What was amazing, was that the majority of the garments on display were owned by ladies from Liverpool.
The Story Behind The Dresses
One of the women whom a lot of the garments belonged to was Mrs Emily Tinne. Emily was born near India in 1886. At a young age she was sent to a boarding school in England and later lived with her mother’s family near Edinburgh. This is where she studied at the Edinburgh School of Cookery.
After her studies, and at around the age of 18/19 years old, she moved with her Aunt to Liverpool, to live with her Uncle. They lived in the prosperous area of Aigburth. In 1910, at 24 years old, she married Dr Philip Frederic Tinne, a local GP and member of a wealthy family of sugar merchants and ship owners.
A sign of the times was that wealthy middle class women would leave their jobs when married. The men were seen as the bread winners, and the women would keep the home, and have hobbies. Mrs Emily Tinne left her job as a teacher and found a hobby in shopping, the wealth of the Tinne family allowed her to indulge in her passion for fashion; something I can only dream of!
Have a little read of the information below. It is amazing. This is a perfect example of a talented lady who gave up her career when she married. But her daughter still had a lot of her mothers work, and it is proudly being displayed for many people to see, just like it should be.
The 1930’s style
The dresses and accessories on display were so well made, and so well presented. Every item look tailored and expensive. Clothes for women in the 1930’s really flattered their figures. It was a way to show off and attract people. Going out for dinner and drinks, and dancing in local dance halls was a huge part of society. You would put on your best frock, and hit the town.
It was a glamorous era where stars of Hollywood would influence the styles people made and wanted to wear. Stars like Joan Crawford, Ginger Rodgers and Rita Hayworth exuded Hollywood glamour.
Just like dance halls were a regular social event, so was going to the cinema, it was so cheap to go back then, and some old picture houses in Liverpool would show 2 or 3 films back to back for a small price. No matter where you shopped, be it Lewis’s or the markets, you could find an outfit that would copy the style of these stars from the big screen.
Reflecting the 1930’s today
Even today, the style of the 1930’s is still attractive to people. This window display in Debenhams, Liverpool, reminded me so much of this exhibition.
The faux fur shrugs and shalls, the beaded clutch bags, the t-bar shoes, and elegant dresses reflect the glamorous past time. I wonder if they realise they have brought together a local fashion exhibition and modern city style.
The exhibition has moved from the Lady Lever to Sudley House, Liverpool. It opens on the 25th March there and I highly recommend going to see it.
(Since writing this article, the exhibition has now closed)
I have put the link here to Liverpool Museums site, so you can check it out for more details of exhibition coming up. Let me know if you went to see it whilst on the Wirral, or if you loved it when going to see it in Liverpool.
Until next time,