Explore the long enduring relationship between fashion and the rose, a universal symbol of romance and beauty.
Roses exude luxury and transient beauty, ignite passion and obsession and possess a powerful multi-sensory appeal. The universal loveliness and individuality of roses has seen them inextricably intertwined with the fashion industry, and the exhibition will examine this fruitful relationship from the Victorian era to today.
Explored in abundance by writers, artists and designers throughout history, the rose is known not only for its beauty but also for its stark juxtapositions – while the fragrant beauty of the rose has been used to symbolise love and sexuality, its sharp thorns and fragile lifespan has been used to explore themes of sin, degradation and death. The exhibition will consider the multifaceted identity of the rose through remarkable fashion designs and historic and modern collections of art and objects.
Explore designs by fashion heavyweights such as Alexander McQueen alongside 18th-century ‘rosy’ undergarments, contemporary gender-neutral floral designs, extravagant millinery, handbags and fans, plus dramatic statement jewellery and melancholic mourning brooches. Plus discover the tensions of wild and cultivated planting and natural and artificial roses through the museum’s own collections and gorgeous gardens.