A Stitch in Time exhibition at Ham House

A Stitch in Time BBC Four

The costumes created on the popular BBC Four programme a Stitch in Time come to Ham House this Spring. Until 29 April all 6 costumes will be on display and visitors can see the intricate work of costumier Ninya Mikhaila and her team up close.

Costumes on display from 10 Feb to 29 April, house open 12-4pm. 

From left to right; costumiers Harriet Waterhouse, Ninya Mikhala, presenter Amber Butchart and costume assistant Hannah Marples
From left to right; costumiers Harriet Waterhouse, Ninya Mikhaila, presenter Amber Butchart and costume assistant Hannah Marples
From left to right; costumiers Harriet Waterhouse, Ninya Mikhala, presenter Amber Butchart and costume assistant Hannah Marples

Earlier this year, BBC Four broadcasted the documentary ‘A Stitch in Time’. In this BBC Four programme, presenter Amber Butchart and a team of expert tailors headed by Ninya Mikhaila, took inspiration from works of art and recreated historical clothing using only authentic methods.

 “Fashion is the mirror of history

  - Louis XIV

Marie Antoinette after Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun
Marie Antoinette after Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun
Marie Antoinette after Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun

Today, we have all six costumes created on the show on display at Ham House. One of the costumes was inspired by our very own painting of Charles II, currently hung in the Marble Dining Room.

The six costumes include; 

  • Charles II from a painting at Ham House by Thomas Stewart
  • The Arolfini dress from the Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van eyck at the National Gallery 
  • The Hedge Cutter leather jacket from a portrait at Broughton Castle 
  • The dress of Dido Elizabeth Belle from a painting at Scone Palace
  • The Jupon of the Black Prince from the effigy at Canterbury Cathederal 
  • Marie Antoinettes Chemise á la Reine from a painting by Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun
The Chemise à la Rein made by Ninya Mikhala & team which will be on display at Ham House
The Marie Antoinette Chemise à la Rein made by Ninya Mikhala & team which will be on display at Ham House
The Chemise à la Rein made by Ninya Mikhala & team which will be on display at Ham House

According to Amber, clothes are the ultimate form of visual communication. By looking at the way people dressed we can learn not only about them as individuals but about the society they lived in.

In each episode Amber looked at what these items of clothing tell us about the people who wore them and the historical time periods they came from. 

This exhibition has been made possible thanks to;

Amber Butchart – Fashion Historian and Presenter of A Stitch in Time

Ninya Mikhaila – Costumier

Harriet Waterhouse – Costumier

Hannah Marples – Costume Assistant

BBC Four/ BBC Studios