Style Is Eternal

Picture by Simon Armstrong (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

It isn’t every Pennine market town of 7000 souls that comes with a full size French Chateau attached. Barnard Castle seems to be the only one. The Bowes Museum is a fully-fledged, international museum and art gallery with a wonderful permanent collection as well as a series of touring exhibitions. It’s big on costume and textiles, so it’s very fitting (pardon the pun) that it will be hosting an exhibition this summer called Yves St Laurent – Style is Eternal. This retrospective of one of the 20th Century’s most influential fashion designers is only coming to one museum in the UK – a massive coup for the Bowes. (Oh! the parking! It’s going to be impossible…)

Ever the opportunist, I thought it would be fun to run a poetry-writing workshop, with suitable writing prompts and a visit to the exhibition. I’ve booked a meeting room at the Bowes for the whole day (10.30 – 4pm) – Saturday August 22nd, and I have spaces for 14 poets to come and consider what fashion means in our own lives and how clothes have been used in poetry. We will have special guests Amy Key and Camellia Stafford with us – they have written extensively about fashion and identity, in their collections Luxe and Letters to the Sky – to talk about their work and influences.

The price of the workshop is £25, which includes entry to the YSL exhibition. The only other thing you need to pay for is food, which you can bring along, or find at the rather gorgeous museum cafe. So as things stand there are TWO tickets left. Contact me at to book a place.