The approach to Bath Spa across the railway viaduct gave me my first hint of the elegant Georgian terraces, and crescents, juxtaposed by rolling countryside. These now offer a context for a great collection of fashionable, independent boutiques. I had arranged meetings at several to discuss the MSL brand, starting with Mee fashion and lifestyle boutique, based in the heart of Bath. I found antique wardrobes filled with inspiring dresses, Fair Trade cashmere, fragrances and home gifts. Mee are developing their brand – already famous for feather butterfly garlands in Mee’s signature colours now online at meeboutique.com sees the launch of a brand new lingerie range.
Had I stayed longer I would have been attracted to the nourishing hot springs at Thermae Bath Spa, but I was whisked off to an equally overwhelming experience at the Fashion Museum. From the fabulous collection of more than 1300 shoes, from 18th century silk to 21st century jewelled mules, I was drawn to Salvatore Ferragamo’s ‘Invisible’ sandal in nylon fishing thread and calf that won him the Neiman Marcus Award in 1947, worn by ballerina Alicia Markova.
The second collection that inspired me was a display of beautifully decorated gloves, ranging from the early years of the 17th century to the 1660s: some of the rarest surviving historic pieces of fashions from the 17th century in any museum anywhere in the world.
The third collection offered a really unexpected surprise, a pink silk taffeta suit from 1980 by Roland Klein, worn by Jaquie Arcus. I am really looking forward to the chance to interview Roland Klein on Saturday at our special Semple Secrets event at Southbank Centre. I hope to surprise Roland with a photo from the Fashion Museum collection and search out more secrets from the fashion world.