Agatha Christie & Art Deco

Blog post courtesy of Chris A ….

Seven of us went over the hills to Macclesfield in what could be classed as inclement weather to a presentation on Agatha Christie which included murder, mystery, history and clothes.  On sitting to watch we were quickly made to reflect on how wise it was to have tucked into the cake and coffee prior to the talk.  Not because of those naughty calories but the disturbing fact that someone in our presence was about to snuff it as they re-enacted a murder mystery in Agatha Christie style.

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If you’ve not seen the History Wardrobe in action it is a must to catch one of their many talks on clothes through different eras.  The information is given in the form of a comedy sketch by Lucy and Meredith who wearing original clothing of the period in question bring the facts to life.  On this occasion we learnt how Agatha Christie first became a writer at the age of 12 years, the mystery of her own disappearance and how she was regarded by other writers.  We heard how she had a list of rules about who should not be the murderer in her stories and which she occasionally ignored.  If you are a prevalent reader of Agatha Christie novels you will know how important clothes were to her plots and the solving of the crime.

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Lucy and Meredith created various characters for us by wearing original outfits from the twenties and thirties and pointing out the detail in the outfits and the history around them.  They did this in an hilarious manner and we were treated to the sight of the most enormous k nickers with a pocket in, which make M & S big knickers look tweeny. (very useful for hiding a weapon in).  We also learnt how to flatten our bosoms for the new shift dress look and the reason for such a fashion.  We saw glamorous flapper dresses with beautiful art deco detail all made in silk.  Shoes and glamorous embellished collars were also on display.   A vote was taken at the end as to which of the characters presented was guilty of the pretend crime against a member of the audience.  And yes an article of clothing led to the capture of the suspect.

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Having been given the chance at the end of the presentation to the view all the clothes more closely we left for home having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, no repercussions from the cake, and with a desire to read one of the 70 novels written by Agatha Christie.  

As a group we are going to a History Wardrobe called V for Victory which will be based at Bramhall Hall at 2p.m. on the 18th November.  Jenny is the person to see if you want a ticket.  Here we will have an uplifting presentation of life on the home front in World War One.  Very fitting given our poppy project. 

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