Victorian Harewood… with costumes

Earlier this month, I made the short trip to the delightfully charming Harewood House, only a ten minute drive from my hometown of Harrogate, to view a combined exhibition of Victorian Harewood (I hadn’t been aware that Princess Victoria visited Harewood House) displaying memorabilia from Queen Victoria, together with a number of costumes from the recent ITV drama.

Despite the weather, the house looks majestic.

Below are some of the images of the costumes in such a majestic setting:

Replica coronation robe created for the scene. This fabric is screen printed and looks truly amazing on camera – even my pathetic amateurish attempts!
Rear view of the coronation robes – screen printing on fabric looks like embroidery on film.

 

I consider myself slimish, but I’m always staggered when I see costumes worn on the screen which highlight how slender the actors are in reality.  Even with a nipped-in corseted waist, all the rage in Victorian Britain, these costumes are tiny.
The joy of viewing costumes in such an intimate setting – one can see all the details.  I love an exhibition where you can get up close to the subject!
I’m an admirer of the Victorian style, but so glad my time is now. I’d rather go to the gym and slim to achieve my tiny waist, than be trussed up in a corset!

Spring Summer 2017 is all about sleeves, so the fashion magazines tell us.  Could Victorian fashion be the inspiration behind such an impractical (can’t get a jacket over a big sleeve) fashion?
It may be corseted but Jemma Coleman is one tiny woman!

The house is positively charming with the ground floor rooms open to the public showing off the beautiful grounds and gardens.  The special Victoria exhibition includes small items owned by Queen Victoria, including a sketch book.  There is also an exhibition of watercolours by Queen Victoria’s Lady-in-Waiting on display.

Finally, end your visit as we did by stepping below stairs, which is equally as fascinating, giving an opportunity to see how the house would run.  Whilst I would have preferred to remain firmly upstairs in Victorian England (enjoying the view from the spectacular terrace), I’m happy to view how the majority worked!  It gives a fascinating insight into the harsh realities of the working classes.

If you’re looking for an interesting distraction this sunny bank holiday weekend, I can highly recommend Harewood House and it’s gardens. The exhibition continues until 29 October 2017.

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