Manchester's Gallery of Costume to reopen after two-year, £1.3million revamp

By Culture24 Staff | 08 March 2010
a photograph of a staircase

(Above) Inside the newly refurbished Platt Hall. © Manchester City Council

The Gallery of Costume in Manchester will reopen on March 13 following a two-year, £1.3 million overhaul.

The Gallery of Costume at Platt Hall in Rusholme is home to more than 20,000 fashion items including couture pieces from Dior, Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent.

a photograph of a mannequin wearing a fitted yellow suit

Wool Suit by André Courrèges (1965-1967). © Courtesy Manchester City Council

Platt Hall's collection is second only to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and contains items of clothing and accessories dating back to the 17th century.

"The Costume Gallery at Platt Hall is a real treasure and I'm delighted it will once again be available to the general public," said Councillor Mike Amesbury, executive member for culture and leisure at Manchester City Council.

a photograph of hats on stands in glass fronted cabinets

A glimpse at some of the huge accessories collection held by the museum. Courtesy Manchester City Council

"The collection includes some incredibly rare, historical items and is a key tourist attraction in the city," he added.

"It is also a wonderful community resource offering many educational opportunities for local schools and students, as well as workshop space for community groups.

"The team at the gallery have worked so hard over the past two years to restore the building and refresh the costumes. It's thanks to them that Manchester will once again benefit from one of the largest fashion collections in the UK."

a photograph of a mannequin in a floaty netted dress

Evening Dress by Zandra Rhodes (1974). Courtesy Manchester City Council

Some of the museum's most recent acquisitions will also be on display, including a 1967 Givenchy dress, designed for and worn by film star Audrey Hepburn.

The fuchsia pink couture dress was bought for £3,500 at auction in December 2009.

a photograph of dresses in glass fronted cabinets

The collection dates back to the 17th century. Courtesy Manchester City Council

The Gallery will open with a new exhibition, Suffragettes to Supermodels: 100 years of Fashion, which showcases designers such as Alexander McQueen, Zandra Rhodes and Vivienne Westwood.

Visit the Gallery of Costume online for more details.

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