Day 2 -Dublin, National Museum of Ireland
We headed over to the one National Museum of Ireland- Decorative Arts & History location after lunch. I’m impressed that the museums are Free! I think this egalitarian concept prevails throughout much of current Irish society.
The preservation of clothing, however, is largely restricted to the upper classes, due to the poorer people wearing their clothes until they were worn out. In the 18th C. Only the wealthy could afford to wear luxurious dress, but by the late 19th C., prosperous people in towns and villages across all of Ireland could dress fashionably.
Having precious metal embroidery on your clothing did come with some risk. ‘Friends’ or staff might cut off threads to steal the expensive metal!
Lace has been an important industry in Ireland. Many families survived hard times by making lace. There are numerous distinct styles (several of which I hope to see on this trip!
This gorgeous blue color of the silk was created using ‘new’ synthetic abalone dyes. The gown remains pristine… Maria Sweeney had the gown made for her brother’s wedding and then also wore it to Mass the Sunday following the wedding. The priest disapproved of the “figure-displaying style” (say, what???) and Maria never wore the gown again!
Next time I’ll share the Irish fashion icon Ib Jorgensen’s couture designs, on special exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts.
Slán go fóill!