The Fashion Museum Bath is one of the world’s great museum collections of historical and contemporary dress. The collection includes in the region of 100,000 objects – fashions for men and for women, from embroidered accessories of the time of Shakespeare to cutting edge designs by today’s leading international fashion designers in the Dress of the Year collection, with a new ensemble added every year. The Fashion Museum Bath will present an exhibition ‘A History of Fashion in 100 Objects’ from its collections in Bath in 2016, and thereafter available for tour from 2018. The exhibition traces a history of fashionable dress, from the late 1500s to the present day through 100 carefully selected ‘star’ objects from across the museum collection.
Objects include an embroidered waistcoat worn as informal dress by an aristocratic woman in the early 1600s, as well as a red and black appliqué embroidered jacket by Paris couturier Lucien Lelong worn by ‘Gone with the Wind’ actress Vivien Leigh in 1948.
The exhibition is one in a series of three ‘100 Objects’ exhibitions taking place over the next six years. The intention is that each will be available for tour, after first having been seen at the Fashion Museum Bath.
Each year the Fashion Museum invites a distinguished fashion expert to select a ‘Dress of the Year’ that epitomises – for them – the year in fashion. The exhibition ends with the current ‘Dress of the Year’ as the 100th object, bringing the selection right up to date. Recent selections have included, in 2011, a grand evening dress of ivory tulle embroidered with hundreds of tiny eagle motifs in silver bullion designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.
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