La Belle Epoque – Fashions of the 1870s-1910s
A fabulous fashion exhibition of some of the most beautiful outfits from our permanent collection, including two incredibly significant recent donations on display for the first time: a sumptuous silk satin wedding dress dating from 1896, and a magnificent and historically important court dress with train from dating from 1911.
All of the pieces in this exhibition are from the 1870s to the 1910s. This relatively peaceful period in Western Europe is often known as La Belle Époque – “the beautiful era.”
During this time the fashionable female figure was subject to more fluctuations than had ever been seen before. The means used to achieve various silhouettes – from crinolines to corsets, bustles to migrating bust lines – will be explored here.