A spectacular Collection of Fashionable Clothes from 1700-present at Chertsey Museum – by Vernice

Last weekend I visited the Chertsey Museum where they hold the Olive Matthews Collection of Dress and Textiles. This collection is described as “A spectacular collection featuring many items of national significance. It contains over 4,000 men’s, women’s and children’s fashionable clothes dating from c.1700 to the present”. As a result they often have exhibitions relating to clothing and textiles.

The exhibition I went to see was a small part of The Regency Wardrobe Collection from a Fashion House/Fine Art Studio called The House of Embroidered Paper. This establishment was formed in 2017 by an artist called Stephanie Smart who creates life sized garments and footwear using only paper and thread. She has developed the use of paper as a medium for garment construction with embroidered and applied decoration.

The full Regency Wardrobe Collection consist of 11 life sized outfits, 12 accessories, four wall hangings and an item of furniture.

The small selection on display at the Chertsey Museum were mostly pieces inspired by items from the Olive Matthews collection held in the museum.

If you are interested in reading more about Stephanie’s work, go to stephaniesmart.net. For information about the Regency Wardrobe specifically go to the Home page, choose Collections then Regency Wardrobe where you can click on any piece from the collection.

Quilling cap
Vernice Feb 3

Early 19th Century male frockcoat in the French style.

Materials: Quilling paper strips, FSC accredited paper tablecloth, tissue paper, greaseproof paper, Japanese rice paper, sewing thread and embroidery thread.

Vernice Feb 6

Women’s Pelisse with Skirt.

Materials: Accredited paper tablecloth, tissue paper, rice paper and embroidery thread

Vernice Feb 10

Woman’s Pelisse

Materials: Accredited paper tablecloth, Japanese rice paper.

Vernice Feb 13

Woman’s day dress

Materials: Accredited paper tablecloth, tissue paper, quilling paper strips, rice paper, crepe paper, embroidery thread, Watermark Koume white paper.

Vernice Feb 17

Shape inspired by 1720 woman’s shoe and the Indian Blue Peacock.

Materials: Cartridge paper, Quilling paper strips, embroidery thread, tissue paper, card, Aqua Bronze powder and lacquer.

Vernice Feb 20

Inspired by the pointed toes and low flared heel of late 18th Century shoes; in particular the Killerton House collection. Inside there is a hand drawn design to reflect the beautiful paper labels of the makers of shoes from this era which often contained a dedication, as per the shoe in Killerton House dedicated to the Duchess of Cumberland.

Materials: Quilling paper strips, wrapping paper, card, embroidery thread, gold card, lacquer, tissue paper and pencil.

Vernice Feb 24

Shoe inspired by square toed, flat style of shoe fashionable during 1830-40’s and the Bird of Paradise which was particularly popular with collectors and designers during this period.

Materials: Accredited paper tablecloth, tissue paper, cartridge paper, embroidery thread, card, pencil and coloured pencil.

Report and photos by Vernice C.

Thank you so much for sharing your visit with us Vernice.  Ros

Chertsey Museum:  https://chertseymuseum.org/

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