Alongside The Regency Wardrobe exhibition, at Firle Place in 2021 there will be a series of linked lecture events by experts in the area of historic fashion and textiles. These include:

Thursday 9th Sept - Mary Kitson - Many Faces of English Fans in the Late Georgian Period

Mary Kitson will explore the various types of English paper fans and the ways in which they were used and crafted, following styles of dress – as the 18th century led into the Regency. Mary Kitson holds degrees in Art History and Renaissance Studies and a Consultant to The Fan Museum, Hon. Secretary of The Fan Circle International and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers. Over the last 20 years she has developed her interest in hand fans, regularly lecturing on the subject and bringing this oft neglected costume accessory and art object, to a wider audience.


Thursday 16th September - Mark Wallis - Rascals and Rakehells: Original Menswear from Jane Austen’s time

Mark Wallis is an authority on historic men’s clothing and sources rare items for museums around the world including the V&A, Colonial Williamsburg and Musee des Arts Decoratifs. He has collected original menswear and accessories since he was a schoolboy, and in that time, has amassed what the V&A describes as, the biggest known private collection of historic menswear from 1650 – 1950. Mark enjoys a flamboyant personal style, often dressing in reproduction clothing in his role as Managing Director of historical interpretation company Past Pleasures Ltd, but also for his hobby of period dancing.

Thursday 30th September - Grace Evans - Beautifully Hand-Made – Regency Treasures from the Olive Matthews Collection

The Olive Matthews Collection at Chertsey Museum incorporates over 6,000 items of men’s, women’s and children’s dress and accessories dating from c.1600 to the present day. The collection is particularly known for its 18th and early 19th century holdings, which have survived in remarkably good condition. In her talk Grace will take a look at the origins of the collection; how Olive Matthews gathered her precious items together during her lifetime, her motivations, and how the collection came to be at Chertsey Museum. She will then focus on important items of beautifully hand-made Regency dress, some of which have inspired pieces in The Regency Wardrobe collection. Their fabrics, decoration, construction and history will all be explored using a wide variety of sumptuously detailed images from this important and treasured collection. Grace Evans is the Curator of Fashion at Chertsey Museum.

Online booking will be available from April 2nd at:

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