We are finally getting to the end of this story and as per usual I want to begin with some more objects from the Countess’s collection. The dress below, like the tomato-red number from the last entry, is also from the late 1920s and probably the most spectacular item from the Countess’s wardrobe. The top part is very Paco Rabanne and made of some chainmail-like mesh of blue thread and folded strips of metal. It must have looked spectacular and I like to think the Countess wore it with her very beautiful F Pinet shoes, possibly bought in the shop […]
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The story of London Tweed
So this is how the story goes. In 1826 a London merchant decides to buy some cloth from a weaver in Hawick, a town in the Scottish borders famous for its cloth production. Very happy with his order, he decides to get some more but – crucially – misreads the weaver’s dashed handwriting. Instead of ‘twill’ this Londoner reads ‘tweed’, and assumes this new cloth must take after the River Tweed which runs fast and clear through the textile areas of lower Scotland. ‘Tweed’ and not ’twill’ has been the term used ever since.
A starring role for the Suffragette collection
As curator of the museum’s wonderful Suffragette collection I often welcome ‘important’ visitors to the archive, captivated by the story of the women who endured imprisonment, hunger-strike and even force-feeding in their battle to win the vote.
A few weeks ago I found myself surrounded by fascists. I was on my way to the West End when at Tower Hill station a large group of French-speaking men with assorted girlfriends and wives (I presume) entered my tube carriage.