The dress that stitched a thousand tales...

Cindy Beadman's gowns transcend time; often hand-stitched on hand-dyed Habotai silk, it's worth a visit to the Fashion Museum, Bath to see her delicate artistry close up.


Cindy Beadman's designs have always attracted admiration. Lauded for their intricacy, innovation and creativity, they can be found in prized collections in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Philadeliphia Museum of Art, Munich Museum of Modern Art and here in B&NES, at the Fashion Musuem, Bath.




Known as the Pocket Dress, it is perhaps the gown that best showcases the Fashion & Fairytale project. Created using as many sustainable techniques and processes as possible, Cindy weaved together her love of nature with fairytale symbolism.


Ok, so you might not opt to wear this dress down to the shops, but it is nonetheless a thing of beauty and showcases why Cindy was described by the Times as a 'Disarming British individuality, Cindy is a leader not a follower.’


Cindy pioneered hand-dyeing and experimental stitching techniques and trained up seamstresses to bring her detailed designs to life. Her search for perfection spilled over into inventing new methods to give the silk a 3D effect. By rubbing, ribboning, weaving and stretching the delicate silk, she not only gave her designs body and texture, but she created heirlooms and works of art that stand the test of time.


At the height of her fashion career, Cindy showed two collections a year at the London Designer Collections and sold to exclusive outlets world-wide, such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Gunn Trigère, Beverley Hills, she also opened her own shop in South Kensington. High-profile owners of her designs include royalty and celebrities such as Farah Fawcett and Olivia Newton-John.


One particular ensemble from her Fairy Tale Collection, bought by Anita Harris for presentation to the Queen, was displayed in the Victoria and Albert Musuem’s major exhibition, Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950.




If you met Cindy, however you would quickly understand that she is no 'fashionista'; not one for the limelight, she has launched the Fashion & Fairytale design competition because she wants to recognise talent from all backgrounds. Hoping to inspire a new generation of sustainable fashion designers who put a love of nature and the environment at the heart of their creativity she hopes to reward the four outfits that best meet the brief and eschew the morally vacuous model of fast fashion.


"It was that sheer joy and utter freedom of letting the imagination soar to its most luminous transcendent heights that I wanted others to experience. This was the well spring and heart centre, of the ‘Fashion and Fairytale’ enterprise. "


For two days ONLY from the 3-5th August 2020, The Octagon Salon in the Bath Assembly Rooms will play host to a retrospective exhibition of some of Cindy's most iconic gowns. This once in a lifetime opportunity will showcase all sustainable fashion design entries from students across B&NES alongside Cindy's pioneering creations. Put the dates in your diary and get your competition entry in before the 31st January 2020.




Completed your design? Click for info on how to submit your entry.



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