Gallery of Costume
Gallery of Costume
Gallery of Costume, Manchester
0161 245 7245
The Gallery of Costume houses one of the finest collections of clothing and fashion accessories in the country. Two floors of themed displays give a fascinating insight into fashion over the centuries. The exhibition and displays change regularly, so there is always something new to see.
The entire collection of this museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.
The Gallery of Costume will reopen on Saturday 13 March after a major refurbishment. There will be new exhibitions covering the whole of the collections, from the 17th century to 2010, and a changing temporary display gallery. The shop has been refitted and has a range of new products reflecting the collections. The Gallery will henceforth be open to the public Wednesday to Saturday afternoons, 1.30 to 4.30.
From 1 June 2012, Manchester Art Gallery and the Gallery of Costume will be opening their doors to the public seven days a week.
The extensive library and archive is available to researchers and students by appointment.
The entire collection of the Gallery of Costume is a Designated Collection of national importance.
The Gallery of Costume holds one of the country's finest collections of clothing, textiles and fashion accessories. The collection consists of more than 21,000 items from the 17th century to the present day, including rare examples of the everyday dress of working people. The Gallery of Costume currently has restricted public opening hours, but researchers may visit at other times by appointment.
Social History, Costume and Textiles
Key artists and exhibits
- Current displays include Quant to Westwood: Fashion since the Sixties; Living Colour: Textiles and Embroideries from the Indian Subcontinent; A Suit of her Own: A History of the Working Woman's Wardrobe.
- Designated Collection
Something Blue: Wedding Fashions 1914-2014
- 1 August 2014 — 15 March 2015 *on now
Something Blue explores a hundred years of bridal fashion from the Gallery of Costume’s collections. The 18 unique gowns on display were worn by a wide array of British brides including mill workers, wives of Lieutenants in the Royal Navy, women in the air force as well as the wedding dresses of art world figures Kathleen Soriano, Director of Exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts and Maria Balshaw, Director of Manchester City Galleries and the Whitworth Art Gallery. All but one of the dresses that will be part of the exhibition have not been on display before.
The show illustrates the changes in styles, materials and fashion trends in wedding dresses throughout the century. From brides using parachute silk in the 1940’s due to the rationing of materials, to the dismissal of traditional gowns in favour of more modern suits or shorter dresses in the 1960’s, and some brides’ preference of coloured dresses in the 1990’s, the exhibition illustrates the wedding dresses of the periods.