Glasgow Style?

by @style

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A gold and silver lamé tunic-style evening dress stocked by Murielle’s of Sauchiehall Street, c 1924.

I’m back to apologise AGAIN for my lack of updates on this blog – between work with my own clients, Braehead and uni I’ve not had a minute to even think about blogging.

I’m currently working on 19th century dress, specifically how women learned tailoring techniques. Not to get all ‘historian’ on you, but women, traditionally were dressmakers and needleworkers. Men were tailors, and tailoring was a fiercely protected trade. In the latter decades of the nineteenth century women needed more practical clothes that would allow them to work, to participate in public life, to enjoy sport and leisure. They needed tailoring.

One system of teaching women tailoring was devised by the Glaswegian, Joseph Fox. His ‘Rodmure System’ was specifically designed to teach women effective tailoring and dressmaking techniques. He is an incredibly interesting figure, indeed, his whole family is intriguing. His system was called Rodmure after his daughters, Rhoda Fox (later Levine) and Muriel Fox (later Hymans). Rhoda went on to manage the Rodmure school and Muriel went on to own Murielle’s, where the above vision comes from.

I find it both exciting and a bit sad that Glasgow is famous for its ‘style’ and yet all these names have been allowed to fade into the past. I’m sure there is a very interesting story to be uncovered here…

I’m eagerly awaiting a parcel from the fabulous Historikal Modiste, who, on her travels picked up an entire archive belonging to a student of Joseph Fox’s ‘Rodmure System’. It includes the books he wrote, pattern pieces and the student’s own notes. Is it sad I’m so excited about this?

Until next time, when I’ll hopefully have more to share about Rodmure and the Fox family, thanks for reading!

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