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In-Person Talk: Dressing Victorians and Edwardians in West Berkshire
By Shaw House
On the front page of one edition of the Newbury Weekly News in Spring 1868, advertisements could be found for crinolines, corsets, haberdashery, drapery, bonnets, artificial flowers, sewing machines, wool trousers and other men’s clothing, alongside turnip cutters, manure and beer. This talk will focus on how those living in West Berkshire during the Victorian and Edwardian periods, dressed and followed fashion.
In this talk, Alison Toplis will discuss women’s fashions and also consider menswear and children’s clothes, looking at ordinary people as well as those in elite society. Outlining how both the local economic environment and wider events impacted on the clothing choices of people during this period, the talk will trace a fascinating path through sartorial histories, using photographs and surviving garments as well as written accounts.
Alison Toplis is currently an honorary research fellow at the University of Wolverhampton. She worked for several years as a dress and textiles specialist at Christie’s Auctioneers before completing her doctorate in the area of nineteenth-century working-class dress. She has since lectured and published widely, including her books The Clothing Trade in Provincial England 1800-1850 (2011), and The Hidden History of the Smock Frock, published by Bloomsbury in May 2021.
Guests will be greeted on arrival with a glass of Prosecco or non-alcoholic Nozeco and have the opportunity to enjoy a private view of the ‘Dressed for Shaw’ costume exhibition after the talk.
Talk duration: 45 minutes, with 15 minutes Q&A and time to view the ‘Dressed for Shaw’ costume exhibition.
Friday 16 September | Doors open 6.30pm | Talk 7pm | Shaw House | £15 per person (includes 175ml glass of Prosecco/Nozeco and Private View)
16 September
6:30pm - 8:00pm
Shaw House
Church Rd, Shaw, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2DR, UK