Fashion Museum Bath
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.
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.
Adult single £9.00
Family ticket (2 adults and up to 4 children) £29.00
Saver ticket to Fashion Museum, Roman Baths and Victoria Art Gallery is also available.
Family ticket: £55.00
- Museums Association
- National Art Pass
Free audioguide in one of twelve languages
Café in the Assembly Rooms
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 www.fashionmuseum.co.uk
Costume and Textiles, Weapons and War
Key artists and exhibits
- Georgian costume
- Victorian costume
- 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
A History of Fashion in 100 Objects
- 19 March 2016 — 1 January 2019 *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.
- Family friendly
Adults £8.75, Child £6.75
Lace in Fashion
- 4 February 2017 — 1 January 2018 *on now
Lace has been a sign of style and elegance since the sixteenth century. From fine luxury garments worn by royals and the aristocracy to machine-made fashions for the everyday, our brand new exhibition for 2017 will reveal both the techniques and the top names that have made lace such an enduring fashion trend. Featuring over 40 historic treasures and designer dresses, Lace in Fashion draws on the riches of the Fashion Museum collection to showcase the skill and seduction of this fashionable fabric.
The oldest object in the exhibition will be a smock dating from around 1580 with Flemish bobbin lace on the sleeves and collar, one of the earliest pieces in the Fashion Museum collection. Another of the Museum’s rarest treasures will also appear in the show: the Silver Tissue Dress which dates from the 1660s is trimmed with exquisite parchment lace, a rare and delicate fabric made using tiny strips of parchment or paper wrapped in silk.
Other highlights include a navy blue lace dress worn by actress Lea Seydoux in the James Bond film Spectre, which has been loaned to the Fashion Museum by Australian design duo Lover, as well as elegant evening gowns by top fashion names Balmain, Balenciaga and Molyneux.
Lace in Fashion will be on display from 4 February 2017 to 1 January 2018.
2017 Adult: £9.00
Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore
- 27 October 2017 6:15-7:15pm
There is only one thing more interesting than a writer, and that’s a stylish writer. In this exclusive In Conversation for Museums at Night, Terry Newman will discuss icons of literature and the sartorial stories they tell.
Hear how the shape and twist of an author’s hair, how they hold a cigarette, or have a penchant for wearing a particular item, is their creative DNA on display, whether it’s an exotic turban like Zadie Smith’s signature head-piece, James Joyce’s wire-framed glasses, or Samuel Beckett’s Wallabees.
A book signing will accompany this talk.
Tickets £15 adults / £12.50 students. Available from Bath Box Office.
Fashion Museum Bath
Group bookings/ General Information