Worn to be Wild

(c) Kate Plumtree

Earlier this week I had a day in Worcester, where we popped into the art gallery and saw a fascinating exhibition, “Worn to be Wild”, by textile artists and costume designer Kate Plumtree. The gallery was filled with an array of startling, bright costumes, some standing around, some on the walls and some swooping from above. The premise of the collection was fascinating: inspired by both historical costumes and the natural world, Plumtree designed each costume to reflect a historical period’s costume and based on a certain animal. Mute Swan, for example, is a white dress with large panniers to each side in the Regency style, with tulle or net cut to fluff up like feathers across the skirt. Bat, meanwhile, hanging from the ceiling in the gallery, is a crinoline with fine gauzy fabric over it, both sinister and aesthetically appealing, like the creature itself. I particularly liked Pheasant, a tawny dress with feather-like markings and a sweeping train based on late-sixteenth-century costume. You can see pictures of the dresses here, and if the exhibition tours to near you, do see it.

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