Dresses of History

16 February 2008 -  27 June 2010


Fourteen historic ensembles from the Fashion Museum’s world class collection of original dress were on display in the museum galleries from 16 February 2008.


Specialist textile conservators Julie Travis and Lindsay Shephard prepared the dresses, which were lcarefully selected for display. Different dresses require different conservation treatments.

For example, a white muslin dress with pale blue embroidery which dates from 1815, was laid out full length on a washing table and gently cleaned to remove nearly 200 years of dust and grime.


The fashions in the display dated from the Georgian, Regency and Victorian periods. An extra feature of the display was the inclusion of one or two pieces associated with Royalty at the time, for example, the ceremonial ensemble worn by the Duke of St Albans as Hereditary Grand Falconer at the  Coronation of George IV (he was previously the Prince Regent) in 1821.


There was a drawing competition for children visiting the Dresses of History display. View the winners here.


For a Dresses from History press release click here.

Image: pale blue silk floral dress on figure

Sack back dress of blue brocaded silk, 1760s from the reign of George III.