Fashion and Fancy Dress: The Messel Family Dress Collection 1865 - 2005

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery: 22 October 2005 - 1 March 2006

This major exhibition displayed a unique selection of garments drawn from the extensive wardrobe of six generations of one family - and never before seen in public.

Comprising fifty five outfits worn by members of the same influential and artistic family, this exhibition highlighted the role of women as guardians of memory through the preservation of family clothing. It explored the creative eye which ran through all six generations of women, and which encompasses English, Irish, French and Chinese style; their love of fancy dress; and their choice of fashion designers. A gentle aesthetic eccentricity and a strong sense of fashionable, yet personal, sophistication differentiates these women from more conventional clients of London or Paris couture houses.

The garments were on loan to Brighton Museum from Linley Sambourne House, Lord Snowdon and the Earl of Rosse.

Press Coverage

Financial Times

22 October 2005
‘Valuable Threads of History.’ Review with images by Laura Campbell

Guardian Guide

22 October 2005
Exhibition highlight with image by Jessica Lack; also in listings

Daily Express

24 October 2005
‘Day & Night’ Diary piece with image by Katherine Spencer 

International Textiles

August/September 2005
Double page spread with images

National Trust Magazine

Autumn 2005
Feature with images by Emily Brooks 


30 September 2005
Double page article with images by Lynn Daly

25 October 2005
The Nymans link: Messel dresses and Simultané. Second article with images by Lynn Daly


14 October 2005
Article with image

Fabric Director-e

2 September 2005
Feature with images by Janet Prescott

BBC Radio Southern Counties

21 October 2005
John Cooper, Lou Taylor, Amy de la Haye – Guests of the day

BBC TV South and BBC TV South East

24 October 2005
Small news Item on South East news

25 October 2005
Small feature on breakfast news
News feature Eleanor Thompson and Victoria Messel on lunchtime and evening news across southern region

Country Life

Late October 2005
Review with images by Mary Miers

24 Hour Museum

Late October 2005
Preview feature with images. Also considering a second feature

Museums Journal

December 2005
Review with images


January 2006
Article with images by Lou Taylor

Harpers’ Bazaar, Australia

December 2005
News Piece with image.

The Magazine Antiques (American Magazine)

Autumn 2005
Review with images by Miriam Kramer


May/June 2005
Included with image in review of University of Brighton conference.


21 October 2005
Included with image in article “Galleries being starved”

Latest Homes

25 October 2005
Feature by Andrew Kay with images
Listed in Art guide 


November 2005
Item with image

The Virtual Brighton Magazine

25 October 2005
Press release and images included in ‘What’s on’ section

City News

October 2005
Item with images

In Britain

February 2006 
Item with image by Pat Moore.

Brighton University Website

October 2006
Item with image

Libraries Newsletter

October 2005
Item by Maria White

Your Family Tree

September 2005
Garrick Webster diary piece with image


November 2005
Item with image.

The Independent Information

22 October 2005

BBC History Magazine (Living History)

October 2005
Robert Attar diary listing with image

World of Interiors

October 2005
Listed in International Exhibits listings with image

Family History Magazine 

October 2005
Item with images 

Family Tree Magazine & Practical Family History 

October 2005

The Lady

Listing with image

Art Fund Newsletter

Image with caption

Sussex Life

October 2005

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