After nearly two months of unpacking, documenting and re- packing; the costume collection that was previously on display in Fashion Works, has been moved to the costume and textiles store.
In the initial stages of this storage project, the items of costume in Fashion works were removed from their cases and stands and transferred to a huge freezer in the basement of the museum. To ensure the items of costume were free from pests, insects and their eggs, the collection was frozen. The shoes were not allowed to go through this process as the materials and glues used to hold the shoes together can sometimes be destroyed in these chilly conditions. This means the collection of shoes will be left in another store until the spring to make sure any remaining pests or insects cannot be spread throughout the collection.
As a postgraduate placement student from Newcastle University, I was new to the documentation and storage process required for these types of objects. With the help of two long term costume and textile volunteers I was soon able to confidently document and pack away the garments on my own.
I was mesmerized by the vastness of the collection in particular the cabinets full of Parasols and racks full of hats!
This costume collection will form the basis of a nine month long project that I will be working on to highlight the quality and breadth of the collection and the different ways it could be used. I will be researching the collection to understand the variety of styles, eras and techniques of costume design present within the collection. I will use this fashion history research to write monthly costume and fashion focused blogs linked to the contents of this collection.
Although the initial stages of this storage project are complete, the current aim is to engage as many people as possible with the costume collection and store. The public are allowed and highly encouraged to come and see the stores and will be able to see both the store and a variety of garments during one of the costume store tours that will be starting at the end of February.
Stay tuned for the next costume blog!