October 22, 2014

The Bodice Ripper: Katherine Mansfield from decorum to decadence and Dressing the World of Katherine Mansfield

Perfectly timed to coincide with the World of Wearable Arts awards the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace is holding an exhibition of corsets. Costume students from Toi Whaakari have contributed pieces to show alongside items from Te Papa and the Birthplace's collections.

Some of the pieces on display are so delicate that gloves are provided should you wish to touch them. But in another room there were some available to try on. The costume student's pieces to a certain extent represented their creators; reasons behind their designs are detailed on cards next to them.

The written posters provide information about the history of corsetry and its recent resurrgence. You'll find old promotions from our own Kirkaldies and Stains. They also track Mansfield's private life; her affairs with men and women, early forays into writing and opinions of those who knew her.

In conjuction with the exhibition on Saturday 4th October a fashion show called Dressing the World of Katherine Mansfield was held at Old St Pauls. The Dreamstress (Leimomi Oakes) presented an engaging show with 8 models showing how fashion, from underwear to eveningwear, evolved through the timeperiod of Mansfield's life. She wove the story of Mansfield's life and how revolutionary she was around the fashions. All items were sewn as accurately as possible to the period, both material and composition.

Price: $8 (admission price to the birthplace)
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-4pm
Dates: 21 September - 21 December
Location: Katherine Mansfield Birthplace, 25 Tinakori Road, Wellington


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