Wednesday 15 February 2012

Hats to Handbags: Exhibition and study day at Dorchester Museum

Today I went to the exhibition that opened on Monday at Dorchester Museum. Hats to Handbags: women’s fashion accessories. The exhibition has cases of hats and bonnets, handbags and purses, umbrellas and parasols, fans, shoes and gloves from the museum’s collections. The earliest item on display is a 17th century white silk drawstring purse with silk embroidery. There is also a late 18th century miser purse, and a lovely pair of 1720s embroidered shoes. The majority of the items are 19th and 20th century, including a case on Princess Diana’s influence on hats in the 1980s. As you can see the museum's window has been done out like a hat shop.

The exhibition is on until the 12th April, and there is a study day on the 31st March, which runs from 10am till 4pm and includes talks by:

Veronica Main (Curator of Costume and Textiles at Wardown Park Museum): ‘The Romance of the Straw Hat’

Helen Sergeant (Dorset County Museum): ‘Dorset Sun Bonnets’

Lisa Walker (milliner): ‘Who wants to be a Milliner?’

Phil Dampier (journalist and author): ‘What’s in the Queen’s Handbag?’

Tickets for the day are £15 per person and are available from the Museum Shop, or 01305 756827 or

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