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whatgrandmawore is a celebration of all-things fashion and its most iconic moments, written by Ruby-May Helms. She has a BA (Hons) in Fashion and Dress History, and an MA in the History of Design and Material Culture. She is currently in the process of applying for a PHD in design history, exploring the relationship between clothing and death. 


This blog explores fashion and dress history through the analysis of surviving garments and other material culture from museum collections. It discusses fashion theory, topical and current issues, and reviews the latest exhibitions. 


TO CONTACT: rubymayhelms@hotmail.com. 


You can follow us on our social media channels by searching for us on Instagram and Twitter.

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February 12, 2019

One could be forgiven for thinking that they were trespassing into The Dior Collection exhibition, held at Proud Central, London, from the 7th Feb – 7th April 2019. Quietly situated a close walk from Charing Cross station down a side street, The Dior Collection is held in an intimate, cosy, peaceful gallery space away from the bustle of the city, and other fashion devotees currently on fashion pilgrimage to the capital for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition. In comparison to the V&A, Proud Central feels like a hidden gem undisturbed by overwhelming crowds.

Proud Central’s The Dior Collection, is an exhibition of fashion photography showcasing garments from the House of Dior, including garments designed by Christian Dior himself, to his protégée Yves Saint Laurent, to Marc Bohan. The photographs, taken by Norman Parkinson, Bert Stern, Horst P. Horst, Mark Shaw and Jerry Schatzberg, offer a view into the world of haute couture, from slick editor...

May 29, 2016

Following my previous post, I wanted to show off some of my photographs that I took of Berlin’s amazing graffiti and street art, as well as sharing an all-important list of places to visit in the evening. As I have already reiterated, Berlin is a city full of culture and art, and this is not just confined to the museum space. For those who want to see the beauty of the streets, read on…

East Side Gallery

118 artists from 21 different countries all contributed to the art which appears on the remaining 1.3km section of the Berlin Wall. Located next to the River Spree inFriedrichshain-Kreuzberg, a district associated with amazing graffiti and a youthful culture, the East Side Gallery is an open air art space which you can view by walking along the street. Filled with political commentary, mockery and dedication to peace, the Berlin Wall stands as a memorial to all those effected by war and the turbulent history of Berlin. Much of the graffiti was protected by metal barriers when I visited...

May 21, 2016

Last month I took a trip to Berlin with my university. I had heard many great things about the city; that it was spacious, modern and full of artistic culture. Indeed, my visit proved that Berlin is an up-and-coming city with much to offer. With such a colourful history to say the least, Berlin is a hodgepodge of Cold War buildings and meticulously formed modern architecture. Youth definitely influences Berlin wherever you travel within the city. I of course took photographs of all the places I visited, however this is not always an option in museums (as rules are rather strict, with some museum assistants insisting that you keep coats and bags in the cloakroom. Therefore if you visit these places, remember to behave yourself). I have made a list of some of my favourite museums that a young visitor to Berlin should definitely make the effort to visit.  




The Kunstgewerbemuseum is a must see for all art/decorative art/fashion history students. At first glance...

March 16, 2016


Welcome to whatgrandmawore!


The name hints a blog dedicated to all things fashion history and more. 


Please explore as much as you can and as much as you wish. 


For any collaborations please get in contact with me (I am very friendly) 


To all things history, fashion and photography


Much love! 



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