Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles

On Friday, August 1st, a group of attendees at the RWA went on a very special roadtrip. We were escorted by the charming and knowledgeable writer and Beau Monde program coordinator Kalen Hughes to visit a tiny lace and textile museum/retail shop in Berkeley, the Lacis Museum. Kalen directed us through the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) system, including dealing with one particularly balky ticket machine. We arrived in Berkeley, and it was strange to see open space, and parking lots, and low-rise buildings after our days in downtown San Francisco. Upon entering the museum, we immediately scattered to study the fabulous exhibits. I was fascinated by the marvelous displays–antique thimbles, bobbin lace, shown mid-weave, perfectly preserved Georgian clothing. We were then given a tour by Erin, the manager of Lacis. It was wonderful being in such erudite company with similar interests, and we had spirited debates about the development of fichus, the origins of the spencer jacket, and differences between Regency and modern muslin fabrics. Kalen, alas, had to leave for another appointment, but we managed a few purchases, and a geographically-savvy tour member got us safely back to the hotel. On the way, we had a spirited, okay, heated, discussion of the merits of various Pride and Prejudice films. The universal decision was that Wickham had to be gorgeous, perhaps even more gorgeous than Darcy, in order for him to cause as much trouble as he did.

I did get some photos of some of the clothing Erin showed us, and they’re posted on my Flickr site. Feel free to check them out. I especially loved the 18th Century waistcoats. The design and handwork was truly incredible.

Here’s the web-site for Lacis:

Admittance to the museum is free, but rest assured you’ll find something to purchase.

And here’s Kalen’s web-site. Her information and links for Georgian and Regency costumes are fabulous. You could dress all the characters in your book from this information. It’s amazing!