£16.76 – £22.15

Victorian Fashion - From the cradle to the grave

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The Regency Town House

13 Brunswick Square

Hove

BN3 1EH

United Kingdom

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If you are interested in fashion, history and cake we have an event for you! The Regency Town House welcomes you to an afternoon with Marion May and Sarah Tobias.

It all began with a rummage in a charity shop in the 1970s. Marion May discovered a designer wedding dress, fell in love with it and started collecting historical and period clothes. Her impressive collection now covers a 100 years of fashion from the mid Victorian era to the 1950s. This is her fifth visit to the Regency Town House and this time she is focussing on the Victorian period.

She is joined by Sarah Tobias, lecturer in social, cultural and local history who will explore everyday Victorian life.

All profits from this event will go towards the maintenance and continuing restoration of The Regency Town House where the event is held.

About Marion May:

Marion became inspired by period costume after handling over 3,000 theatrical fancy dress garments for David Clarke’s Silver Jubilee Pageant in Shalford Park in 1977.
In 1979, she enrolled at Guildford Adult Education Centre for costume classes. Marion moved on to specialise in the collection of antique clothes. Her first “fashionable find” was a 1905 three piece wedding dress, complete with hat and shoes.

Marion found and was donated several more “historic hand-me-downs”.

In the 1980s, a Shalford lady donated a cream Spitalfields silk dress dating from the 1780s to the collection. She and her sister had used the outfit when playing ‘dressing up’ games as young children. No petticoat was included. However, a friend of Marion’s made a replica quilted petticoat for display purposes.

Whilst on holiday in Harrogate, a stall holder in an antiques centre tried to entice Marion into buying what the seller thought was a bustle dress. Marion, however, realised it was a wood block printed cotton dress dating from around 1810, which she decided to purchase for a mere £10!

Another impressive bargain was a beautiful cream satin John Cavanagh wedding gown, left at the end of a jumble sale in Cranleigh, and purchased for £1!

John Cavanagh was a successful Irish London-based couturier of the 1950s and 1960s,and a member of the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers. He dressed many film and stage stars and also designed the silk wedding dress for the Duchess of Kent in 1961 and two years later, the lace gown for Princess Alexandra’s wedding.
As there was no provenance for the dress, Marion arranged to meet John Cavanagh’s personal assistant who estimated the gown to be dated from the late 1950s. After organising dress shows for charity, modelled by her friends, she offered to showcase dresses in Cranleigh Arts Centre in 1995.

Up until 2013, Marion has staged a total of 25 exhibitions, some of which held the creative titles — “The intrepid traveller”, “Fashion And Reality”, “A Nice Piece of Skirt, and “Colourful Occasions”.

Ten years ago, Marion joined the Southern Counties Costume Society and has given two workshops, titled: “All a Bustle” and “The Edwardian Lady”.
The Museum of Farnham offered a tantalising peek into the Secrets of the Bridal Boudoir on January 16 of this year, with Marion’s talk on the history of undergarments, titled: “From Crinolines to Camiknickers”. Her collection is vast and diverse, from underwear to formal wear, wedding dresses and party dresses.

Marion has exhibited at venues in Guildford, Godalming, Chertsey, and Kingston upon Thames to name but a few. She has exhibited at several museums, Petworth House and Guildford Cathedral. She has also showcased in Watts Gallery and several flower festivals,not to mention her appearance on Southern Television when many of her Regency designs were shown for the filming of the Jane Austen festival in Bath — BBC’s Miriam O’Reilly presented the programme wearing Marion’s costume.

2014 was a very busy year for Marion, with many societies requiring and commissioning 1st World War costumes. A number of varied dresses were on display at Christ Church, Shamley Green for their 150th anniversary.

That August, ten dresses were loaned to the Regency Town House, Hove, for “Silhouettes of the Past” 1780–1960, displayed by students from Brighton University.

About Sarah Tobias:

Associate lecturer for Sussex University, tutor for Brighton Metropolitan College, Varndean College and other educational establishments, freelance lecturer, public speaker, tour guide.

Subjects cover social and cultural history: Stuarts, Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Between-wars, Wartime Homefront, 1950s. Also, local history (Brighton, Sussex, UK), cinema history & history of fashion.

Special interests: Art Deco & Modernism, Rituals of Death & Mourning, Christmas customs.

Particular interest and research: the role of female servants and domestic service, especially in 19c-early 20c great country houses.

Freelance lecturer, tour guide, dramatic narrator, costumed historical interpreter and role-player, including at Brighton Museums, Royal Pavilion and Preston Manor.

Devised and guide 'Hidden House' behind-the-scenes tours at Preston Manor, Brighton. Devised and narrated 'The Gloved Hand' ghost story tour set in rooms of the manor.

NT lecturer at Batemans, Burwash 2009-2013.

Writing includes fiction and non-fiction in newspapers and magazines and poetry included in anthologies.

Theatre includes playwriting and performance; devising, directing, producing, choreographing, acting and singing.

Radio and Television includes Brighton cinema history adviser and the interviewed "expert" for SKY TV's 'Cinema Nation' (1990s), historical fashion adviser for TV production, 'The Great British Sewing Bee' shown on BBC2 (2013/2016)

Film-making: DeadGood Films - short film noir on Victorian rituals of Death and Mourning - as originator, co-producer, acting, voiceover & singer, with award winning director Valentina Lari. Screened at Corti Quatra Edizione Sicily Short Film Festival May 2014, Cinecity 12th Film Festival December 2014 at Komedia, Brighton. Screened with interview, Latest TV February 2015, Preston Manor as part of Museum Late, 'Cabinet of Curiosities', 30 Oct 2015 and to be shown as part of 'A House in Mourning' at Preston Manor 2019.



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Date and Time

Location

The Regency Town House

13 Brunswick Square

Hove

BN3 1EH

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

Contact the organiser to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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