Fashion Museum Bath

Image: A selection of garments from the History of Fashion in 100 Objects exhibition
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The Fashion Museum Bath holds a world-class collection of contemporary and historic dress located in a World Heritage City. The museum was founded by writer and collector Doris Langley Moore as the Museum of Costume, Bath and has been based in Bath’s Grade 1-listed 18th century Assembly Rooms since 1963.

Designated as a collection of outstanding national significance under the scheme administered by Arts Council England, the Fashion Museum is frequently included in ‘Top Ten’ lists of the world’s leading fashion museums.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

January - February 10.30 - 16.00
March - October 10.30 - 17.00
November - December 10.30 - 16.00
Exit 1 hour after these times

The Assembly Rooms are free to view when not in use for booked functions. Hours as for Fashion Museum.

Admission charges

Adult single £8.75
Senior citizens (65+) Full Time students from outside Bath (aged 17 and over plus a valid ID) £7.75
Child single (6-16 years) ES40 Holders £6.75
Family ticket (2 adults and up to 4 children) £27.00

Saver ticket to Fashion Museum, Roman Baths and Victoria Art Gallery is available.


  • Museums Association
  • National Art Pass

Additional info

Free audioguide in one of 7 languages
Café open daily
Gift shop and fashion bookshop
Group discount (20+)
Child carriers and babychanging facilities
Special guided tours and illustrated talks
Fully accessible to wheelchair users
Study facilities need to be booked, see website for details

The Fashion Museum collection ranges from jewel-like pieces of 17th century embroidery to fashions by cutting edge 21st century designers; the museum also houses significant fashion archive collections, as well as prints, drawings and photographs. Highlights of the Fashion Museum collection include the early embroidered gloves on loan from the Glove Collection Trust, the Worth-Paquin Archive from the early 20th century, and the Dress of the Year collection, a contemporary collecting scheme which started in 1963, the year the museum opened in Bath.

The collection is presented on display on the lower ground floor of the Assembly Rooms. In addition, anyone can see any object in the collection for a self-directed study session during a pre-booked appointment at the Fashion Museum Study Facilities. For further details please visit

Collection details

Costume and Textiles, Weapons and War

Key artists and exhibits

  • Georgian costume
  • Victorian costume
  • Corsets
  • 20th century fashion
  • Mary Quant
  • John Bates
  • Ossie Clark
  • Jean Muir
  • Bill Gibb
  • Georgio Armani
  • John Galliano
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Alexander McQueen
  • Donatella Versace
  • Alber Elbaz
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Dress and train of fine cream silk decorated with diamantes and gold and silver metal thread embroidery

Behind the Scenes

  • 31 January 2015 — 6 November 2016 *on now

This special display has been refreshed for 2015 and showcases one hundred years of fashion, from snowy white embroidered muslins from the time of Jane Austen through to crinolines and crinolettes to the new column-like shape of dresses from the time of the First World War.

The display includes an original dress worn by Queen Victoria.

“Behind the Scenes” blurs the traditional museum boundaries between collections on display and those held in store. The gallery is, in fact, the museum store, and the original fashions are presented against a backdrop of collection storage boxes.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Any age


Included in Fashion Museum entry


Black and red wool crepe appliqué jacket, Lucien Lelong, about 1947, worn by Vivien Leigh / Red and black spotted silk ballgown with bows and puffed sleeves, about 1982, David and Elizabeth Emanuel

A History of Fashion in 100 Objects

  • 19 March 2016 — 1 January 2018 *on now

A History of Fashion in 100 Objects celebrates fashion throughout history, from the 1500s to the present day, showcasing 100 star objects from the Fashion Museum’s world-class collection.

From a late 1500s ‘blackwork’ embroidered man’s shirt dating from the time of the Spanish Armada, to a ‘body-con’ Galaxy dress of the early 2000s, the exhibition presents iconic garments and accessories spanning five centuries of innovative fashion design.

Fashion is defined as the latest style of dress, decoration or behaviour, and the exhibition showcases artefacts that tell personal stories or are symptomatic of moments in world history.

One of the earliest fashion garments to go on display is an intricately embroidered woman’s jacket – known at the time as a waistcoat – worked in coloured silks and glittering metal thread and dating from the time of Shakespeare.

Fast forward over 300 years, and visitors can see another embroidered jacket, this time from 1948, by Paris couturier Lucien Lelong and worn by major film star and ‘Gone with the Wind’ actress Vivien Leigh.

Graceful silk robes and embroidered and tailored coats for men, the styles fashionable during Bath’s Georgian heyday, will also be on display, along with Regency fashions from the time of Jane Austen.

Big names of fashion history feature in the exhibition. Visitors will see gowns by the first fashion designers, including the Houses of Worth and Lucile, through to names that are more familiar today, such as Christian Dior and McQueen.

The finale of the show is a selection of the most recent choices in the Fashion Museum’s noted Dress of the Year collection, commencing with the Dress of the Year 2011, a magnificent dress in ivory silk tulle by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. The display ends with the Dress of the Year 2015, two outfits by visionary British menswear designer Craig Green, giving an up-to-the-minute, contemporary take on historical fashion.

Alongside the main exhibition, look out for 10 ‘shoe moments’ throughout history – from Georgian silk shoes to Air Jordan trainers – plus a children’s trail featuring 10 fashion looks for kids, from the 1700s to the 2000s.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Adults £8.75, Child £6.75


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Betsan Corkhill

Therapeutic Knitting Workshop with Betsan Corkhill

  • 23 July 2016 10am-4pm

Over the course of the day you will learn from Betsan Corkhill how to use knitting as a tool to deliberately improve your wellbeing.

Therapeutic knitting is not just for those with medical problems, everyone can benefit from having a tool at hand – anytime, anywhere – to enhance their wellbeing. Use it to manage day-to-day stress, life’s inevitable challenges and improve your creativity.

If you live with a medical condition, therapeutic knitting can be taken a step further; learn to use it as an effective tool to manage a range of symptoms and to live life well.

This will be an informal workshop that will revolve and evolve around you and your desired outcomes so please bring your questions, stories and an easy knitting project.

Refreshments and a sandwich lunch will be provided on the day.

Betsan is the recognised world expert on the use of therapeutic knitting for improving health, wellness and managing illness. She has been pioneering research into the meditative, creative and social benefits of knitting for health and wellbeing since 2005 and has been using therapeutic knitting in her clinical practice since 2006.

Copies of Betsan’s book 'Knit for Health and Wellness. How to knit a flexible mind and more...' will be available to purchase on the day.

Tickets cost £40.00 and are available on the Bath Box Office website. Please note: attendees must be able to climb stairs, no disabled access.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children




Children's activity

Best Foot Forward

  • 26 July 2016 10:30am-12:30pm, 1:30-3:30pm

Explore footwear and design some special shoes to help decorate our Fashion Floor. Draw around your shoes on giant paper, adding your own design, to help decorate our Fashion Floor.

Included in admission price, no need to book. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children
  • Family friendly


Included in admission price


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Shoes, hats and bags KS2

At the Fashion Museum explore shoes, hats & bags from different times. Pupils examine a range of accessories, explore the displays in the museum and produce a design for a new accessory.

How to obtain

Book in advance on 01225 477757

Fashion past & present

A session for secondary students linked to textiles and design. This session looks at how a design brief works. Pupils explore the displays in the Fashion Museum, make detailed sketches and follow a simple design brief.

How to obtain

Book in advance on 01225 477757

Investigating pattern

Pupils follow a patern trail and investigate how patterns work in fabric. They handle a range of fabrics in small groups and create a new pattern for use as a motif on a new item of clothing.

How to obtain

Book in advance on 01225 477757.

The clothes we wear KS1

Pupils will link clothing past and present whilst exploring types of dress. Pupils explore the displays in the Fashion Museum. They also handle different fabrics and sort the fabrics for texture, warmth and use. They will also design a new outfit.

How to obtain

Please book in advance on 01225 477757.

Fashion Museum Bath
Assembly Rooms
Bennett Street



Museum enquiries

Group bookings/ General Information


01225 477789

Assembly Rooms

01225 477789


Enquiries/Group Bookings

01225 477743

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.