You can watch Last of the Flower Makers, a documentary about David Bloor, here.
Beatrice: Artificial flowers are having a major revival these days, you can see flower crowns – the archetypal festival gear being sold at stalls in various handicraft markets, that sort of thing. But after studying the flowers in our collection, some of these seem quite poorly made.
Cheap flower crowns are ruined for you. You’ve become an artificial flower snob.
Beatrice: Yes! Perhaps I should attend a course on making the original flowers – but I’m not sure mine would be any good. I suspect you need a lot of patience to get the technique right. This is a whole vanished world, of skill and workplace culture. The artificial flowers we have put on display are beautiful objects in their own right but they are also part of social history, of working history.
Natasha: We are telling every side of the story of the city, not just the story of the people who could buy these high-end clothes, but also of the people who made them. We too often overlook the creation of fashion, the work that goes into what we wear.