Victorian glamour revisited

Luca Costiglioli's dress is prepared for display at Cragside.
Luca Costiglioli's dress is prepared for display at Cragside.

A NORTH Northumberland attraction has gone back to the future as it brings a touch of retro-Victorian glamour to its latest visitor showcase.

The National Trust’s Cragside, near Rothbury, has introduced a fashionable new twist to its Palace of the Modern Magician exhibition.

This showcase within a showcase sees the official unveiling of the recreation of the tailored silk dress worn by Princess Alexandra on a Royal visit to Cragside with her husband the future King Edward VII and their children in August 1884.

In a first for the National Trust, the public was last summer able to watch live as celebrated Italian historical clothes expert Luca Costigliolo spent a week at the mansion at Rothbury, recreating Alexandra’s dress using the same materials, cutting and sewing techniques employed 127 years ago.

Now the completed corseted gown with its voluminous bustle as was the fashion in the 1880s, can be seen in its full splendour for the first time.

And to complement Luca’s work and the theme of the Palace of the Modern Magician visitors can also see how the era is still influencing how we dress today.

Cragside has teamed up with Northumbria University’s School of Design to offer an insight into contemporary historical fashion.

An 18th and 19th century inspired creation designed by 22-year-old Harriet Ferris will be on display until May 2.

Also exhibited will be digital images showing how Luca’s dress is put together while visitors will be able to see Harriet’s sketch books alongside a stunning lace and ruffle Victorian-style collar she designed earlier this year.