Joséphine Bowes – The Woman Of Fashion


We continue to celebrate our 125th anniversary with this new display. Building on the theme and popularity of Joséphine Bowes – A Woman of Taste and Influence, which paid tribute to the woman who was a driving force behind the Museum’s creation, this in-focus display highlights her influence as a socialite and devotee of fashion.

Three key pieces in this latest show are: 

  • A newly conserved lavender silk evening bodice worn by Joséphine, which is teamed with a specially commissioned matching skirt, reconstructed by renowned historical and theatrical costumier Luca Costigliolo. 
  • A midnight-blue velvet evening jacket by the famous couturier Elsa Schiaparelli. The fitted evening jacket was created for Schiaparelli’s autumn/winter 1937-8 collection and is richly embroidered by Lesage, with gilt strip and cord, sequins, rhinestones and three large turquoise star shaped buttons. 
  • One of Joséphine’s blouses - an article of clothing which became very fashionable in the early 1860s, making separates an appealing trend for the first time - also features in the display.