With a few exceptions, ‘designer’ labels today are often associated with luxury ready-to-wear brands designed by international teams and made up in factories, rather than the urban-centred atelier system of couture houses of the past, with their specialist workshops.

Join curator Shelley Tobin as she takes a closer look at examples of fine dressmaking by French and British fashion houses in the RAMM collections.

The afternoon will focus on clothing made in the first half of the twentieth century, examining fashionable dress made by court dressmakers and local workshops as well as well-known couture names such as Worth and Christian Dior.

Shelley will also look at ready to wear designs by Mary Quant and Jean Muir, who began their influential careers in the 1950s. Each had a different approach to fashion. Jean Muir saw herself as a dressmaker and retained a reputation for timeless elegance. Mary Quant wanted her trailblazing style to be affordable, creating the Ginger Group label and licencing her brand to bring designer style to the high street.
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