“There is nothing in this world so bright and delicate”
Bodice – Keats room
Keats made lots of references to Fanny as bright
“I want a brighter word then bright”
“you dazzled me. There is nothing in this world so bright and delicate”
Including writing bright star for her
Fanny’s interest in fashion would have been reflected in her choice of colours as well as fabrics and styles. In this piece I imagine Fanny’s clothing as bright as well as her personality. The colours are not what many people expect from regency clothing but reflect the theme of nature, which runs through the exhibition.
This bodice is a replica of one from a round 1810 from the collection of Wisbech and Fenland Museum. A silk copy of the bright star poem is also next to the bodice
The bodice design fell into place right from the beginning of the exhibition, and the final design was much the same as my original idea, with two key changes, one small adding the poem to the bed rather than having the poem written inside the bodice on the binding. And on the original garment I copied there are flowers printed on the fabric, I made small flowers from silk but they did not work as decoration on the garment, once in the space we placed them around the garment to make an effective frame for the bodice, this then developed as a way of linking all of the pieces together.
Working with such fine fabrics is always a struggle, but testing the pattern and fabrics ensure the outcome was well constructed. The construction took up quite a bit of time as much of it required hand stitching on fine silks.
Although the design did not change much on the set up once I decided to have the flowers across the bed, stitched them on took quite a bit of set up time, the longest in both set up and pack up time of all the pieces
I am very happy with this piece, I think it is one of the most striking in the exhibition as it works in complete harmony with the space.
Feedback from the visitor questionnaire showed the bodice to be the second most handled item in the exhibition