english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Fashion at Berlin’s Museum of Decorative Arts

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A final post about my recent trip to Berlin, before it seems like a distant memory. One of the many museums we visited, and top of my list, was the Museum of Decorative Arts (Kunstgewerbemuseum). The museum has an extensive fashion collection, mostly housed in a dedicated Fashion Gallery, but with some pieces jotted around the rest of the museum.

The collection includes garments, accessories, shoes and lingerie. I photographed quite a few of these – photos below.

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Ball gown with stripes, England/France, 1865

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White summer outfit, France/England, 1866

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Walking Dress in silk taffeta with black velvet, England, 1855

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Two piece evening gown, Madame Gres, Paris, 1973

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Cocktail dress ‘Ribcage’, Pierre Cardin, Paris, 1969 (front) / Hotpants, Paco Rabanne, Paris, 1974 (back)

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Micro dress ‘Ready Made’, Paco Rabanne, Paris, 1970 (front) / Hotpants, Paco Rabanne, Paris, 1974 (back)

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Blue suit with blouse, Chanel, Paris, 1965 (right) / Dress suit Escale, Yves Saint Laurent for Christian Dior, Paris, 1958, owned by Olivia de Havilland (left)

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Cocktail dress in trapezoid line, Yves Saint Laurent for Christian Dior, Paris, 1958

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Evening gown of gold lame and beads, Jean Patou, Paris, 1937

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Pistachio green evening dress, bias cut, Captain Edward Molyneux, Paris, 1932

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Evening gown with horse motif, Madeleine Vionnet, France/USE, 1921-4

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Dance gown with ray motif, embroidered with tambour work, sequins made of bakelite, France, 1925

Shoes

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England, 1821

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England, 1840

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England, 1820-40

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Printed ladies slippers, England, 1795

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Shoes in Chinese style, England, 1785

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Shoes with paste brooch, France, 1770

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England, 1900

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Accessories

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Bust improver, 1910

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Other museums in Berlin with some textile element which I visited:

Berlin’s Film and TV Museum (Museum für Film und Fernsehen) has a permanent Marlene Dietrich exhibition, including a number of her clothes.

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The Bauhaus Archive is fascinating, and includes a number of Bauhaus weavings and textiles.

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The DDR Museum is good fun, and includes a fashion section, including examples of East Berlin sewing pattern magazines.

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And, not at all craft related, but I really enjoyed the Computer Games Museum (Computerspielemuseum Berlin).

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Swatching & Shopping in Berlin

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While on holiday in Berlin recently I got the opportunity to spend time doing lovely things like swatching in the sun in the English Garden Teahouse within Tiergarten (obvious choice for an English girl in Berlin!).

I’m swatching here with beautiful Brittany needles, supplied by Little Lamb Wool, a family-run yarn shop who are a stockist of Brittany needles in the UK.

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If you don’t know Brittany needles, they are a US manufacturer of wooden knitting needles and crochet hooks. Both the needles and the packaging is simple and beautiful. Brittany aim to make a sustainable product, using sustainably harvested birch and recycled packaging. Chris Barnes from Brittany needles was interviewed on episode 11 of the Woolful podcast, if you’re interested in learning more about the company.

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The needles are satisfying to knit with. The feel soft but are actually very sturdy (Brittany will replace breakages within 5 years of purchase). The yarn is Blacker Yarns Lyonesse wool and linen blend.

After swatching and tea, me and Phil had a good stroll around Tiergarten.

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I was fairly restrained in terms of fabric and fibre shopping while in Berlin. I had identified two knitting shops I wanted to visit in advance, KnitKnit and Handmade Berlin.

KnitKnit is a cool tiny yarn shop who produce some cute branded products, including needles and knitting first aid kits (containing knitting essentials).

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Handmade Berlin is a large yarn and coffee shop located in a great spot overlooking a park. They stock a large selection of high quality yarns.

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I didn’t visit any fabric shops, but I did visit a number of markets looking for fabric.

I knew I’d find fabric at the Turkish Market, as I’ve seen all the garments Tea has made recently with Turkish market fabric. I bought myself a couple of metres of fabric and a selection of lace. If you’re in Berlin, i’d definitely recommend a trip to the market for fabric and notions, and as a good spot to buy food or stop for a Turkish tea.

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I didn’t have luck finding fabric at other markets I visited (including Gendarmenmarkt, and Antikmarkt Ostbahnhof), although I’ve seen other people reporting finding fabric online. I did really enjoy Flohmarkt im Mauerpark (despite the last of fabric!) for general mooching and food / drink stalls.

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I also loved the street food event which is held every Thursday night in Markthalle Neun.

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Disclaimer: I was provided with a pair of Brittany Needles by Little Lamb Wool; all opinions expressed are my own.