Tuesday, 25 August 2015

'Mixing It: The Changing Faces of Wartime Britain' at IWM North

If you've read Crinoline Robot for any length of time, you'll know I get a bit of a bee in my bonnet about our nation's multicultural history being forgotten or ignored, especially around November when the 'My granddad didn't fight for [insert minority group here]' brigade get going in the run up to Remembrance Day. Because of that, I was really pleased to see that from the 12th of September 2015 IWM North, part of the Imperial War Museum, is going to be running a display entitled 'Mixing It: The Changing Faces of Wartime Britain'. It's showing research conducted by the University of Huddersfield into the stories of people who came to Britain because of the Second World War: a Jewish teenager, a tot from the Kindertransport, the first Nigerian pilot to serve with the RAF, Czech airmen and more.

My great-grandmother,
Mary Florence de Solminihac, in uniform
I think it's important for us to remember and acknowledge how many different faiths and nationalities were involved in the war. My own grandfather, who was born in Burma, would probably have ended up in Britain anyhow – he was already in the British Army when war broke out, and had already met the girl who would become my grandmother. I don't know if the rest of the family would, though; I doubt they'd have stayed in Burma post-independence, but perhaps they'd have moved to India (my great-grandmother was from Calcutta) or even Australia. As it was, my great-aunts married soldiers, and my great-grandmother was, to go by her uniform, in the Women's Auxiliary Corps (India), and all of them ended up in England. I now live in a town where the oldest Polish residents have lived since the war. And that's just one story; look at the wartime history of people round you and you'll find other tales of people who came to this island and left traces behind, or who came and stayed on, as a result of war. Sometimes it feels to me as though the story of the Second World War is being cut down in scale, reduced to a narrative about white men fighting for one nation. Displays like this new one show how far it reached, and how much it changed Britain and the world.

To accompany the exhibition there are special dramatic performances on the 12th, 13th and 20th of September (first performance at 11:15am, last one at 2:15, free), plus there's an opportunity to meet Professor Wendy Webster and the researchers from the University of Huddersfield on the 4th of October at 2pm.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Outfit post: Potty Lotty

A few people have asked for a closer look at this yellow dress, so here you go. I thought I'd take advantage of the heatwave and get Mr Robot to take some photos.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Who wants to be a badly-dressed tourist?

Grey waterproof. Practical, not stylish!
Mr Robot and I are going to Paris next month. Holidays always cause me a bit of a dilemma, as I'm never entirely sure what to pack, hence the fact I'm starting to think about it now. (This also gives me time to get any essential dry cleaning done, and ensures I don't stuff random items into the suitcase at the last minute, only to arrive at my destination without socks or moisturiser.)

Sunday, 16 August 2015

The Man From UNCLE

I finally got round to seeing the new The Man From UNCLE film and I loved it. However, the verdict in the Robot household wasn't unanimous; the film has had mixed reviews, and my husband wasn't massively keen on it.
I'd had high hopes from the first trailer. The film was set in the 1960s, like the original television programme, and I'd really hoped they'd pull it off. Well, they did. The story starts in Berlin, and it looks like 1960s Berlin, and the film looks like a 1960s film - the colours look like those of a movie shot then. Even the font used for the titles looks like a 1960s font. The music is fantastic, and sounds very 1960s even though much of it was composed especially for the film.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Costume time – Partners in Crime: The Secret Adversary

It seems like ages since I've done a costume breakdown for a telly programme, but the outfits in the first Partners in Crime story were so striking that I really wanted to. I really wasn't sure how I felt about the show after the first episode, nor did I like Tuppence's hats. Well, three episodes in, with the first story complete, I like the show and have come to accept the titfers.

You can't really avoid looking at the hats. In the first episode, I was particularly startled by Tuppence pairing a chestnut hat with a black bag and chocolate gloves. That's the point, I guess: Tuppence's hats are supposed to be over-the-top and frivolous.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

The Man from UNCLE: One of Our Spies is Missing

One of our spies is missing man from Uncle
While we're all waiting for the new Man from UNCLE film to hit the cinemas on the 14th (or am I the only one bouncing in anticipation?), why not enjoy one of the original films?

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Recent purchases and a good read

1938 film book, 1960s dress patterns
Finally the charity shops have started yielding some goodies again. I would say 'not much in the way of clothes', but today I found exactly what I needed (modern) to adapt for my burlesque costume in Oxfam for £8. (I'll probably do a proper post on my costume purchases/work at a later date, though without revealing the exact theme.) Last week I gave a couple of 1940s dresses to a local chazza with a specialist vintage section - I explained to the manageress what they were, so hopefully they will get a decent price for them - and perhaps that's topped up my charity shop luck.