50 Fabulous Frocks | The Fashion Museum

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50 Fabulous Frocks exhibition

50 Fabulous Frocks

In 2013, the Fashion Museum marked its 50th anniversary and presented a special exhibition of its top 50 treasures to celebrate.

February - December 2013

The curatorial team spent a long time debating and refining the selection of the 50 selected pieces, and chose a chronological and typographical spread, with menswear and womenswear, coats and corsets, evening dresses and day dresses. The selection aimed to show the breadth, depth and quality of this leading museum collection, which has been Designated as a collection of outstanding national significance under the Arts Council England scheme.

The show opened with a red wool jersey mini-dress from the mid-1960s by Paris designer Courreges, which was worn by Ernestine Carter, the legendary fashion editor of The Sunday Times and a great friend and supporter of the Fashion Museum's founder Doris Langley Moore, who brought the museum to Bath in 1963. As befitted a golden anniversary, the 50th exhibit in the show was a golden silk 'flapper' style dress by fashion designer Paul Poiret from 1925.

The display also included delightfully curious pieces from the Fashion Museum’s world-class collection of original objects, such as a Champagne Dress worn at a fancy dress party in Edwardian times. And men were not forgotten, from an ornately embroidered man’s coat from the early 18th century through to a pair of bondage trousers by Dame Vivienne Westwood, Queen of Punk.