Special Futures – Behind the Scenes at Manchester Gallery of Costume


DIY punk outfit made by the donor in the 70’s

Every time you visit a museum you are seeing things picked out for collection and display by a series of curators and conservators, but have you ever stopped to consider why these specific things were chosen? Some might seem obviously beautiful, by a famous artist or designer, others shabby yet with a wonderful story attached. I was lucky enough to visit the Manchester Gallery of Costume archive this week and whilst chatting to curator Miles Lambert we mused how random it can be this collecting of things. Indeed what the hands of fate determine fit for such a ‘special future’ as Miles charmingly put it. Once in the museum collection, each item is cared for and respectfully kept, be it a Charles Worth gown or an H&M t-shirt. Monetary value isn’t important here but the value of knowledge and learning it can bring.

At the gallery you can request to see any item they have if they aren’t already on display, you just need to make an appointment. Anyone can do this, you don’t have to be a researcher, you can do it for pure pleasure. The collection is there for all of us. You can also view the collections online. I’ve wrote about the gallery numerous times, I could never get tired of visiting and if you are in Manchester be sure to pay a visit. The changing exhibition in currently Christian Dior which I reviewed for Style.Etc magazine and will tell you more about soon.


Jacket with tails by Charles Worth


Givenchy dress belonging to Audrey Hepburn


Schiaparelli coat with gilt metal embroidery 

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Street Style Manchester: Nikes vs Chucks

Dzastina and Lucy 17 Essex ASOS

Dzastina & Lucy both 17 from Essex, favourite shop ASOS

James Manchester Versace

James, Manchester, favourite shop Versace

Claire 27 Manchester, Cow

Claire, 27, Manchester, favourite shop Cow Vintage

┬áTrainers have long been a fashion item outside of the gym, however this summer they have really made an impact from Nike’s to All Stars or ‘Chuck’s’ as the cool kids now call them. If you like it loud and proud go for bright Nikes such as these neon Elastico. Or if you like a more laid back cool Converse might be for you, these star printed All Stars are a fabulous update on the classic. How do you wear yours?

Thea 15 Manchester Cow

Thea, 15, Manchester, favourite shop Cow Vintage

Jodie 21 Wirrel Topshop

Jodie, 21, Wirrel, favourite shop Topshop

Sam 15 Manchester Topshop

Sam, 15, Manchester, favourite shop Topshop

Bren 58 Phillipines Selfridges

Bren, 58, Philippines, favourite shop Selfridges

Street Style Manchester: Christine

Christine, Manchester, Vivienne Westwood

Frequent visitors to this blog will have already met Christine. My dear friend always looks utterly fabulous and never conforms to the tired old rules glossy magazines┬á like to spout about what is ‘age appropriate’. Beautiful Italian glasses, comfy Doc Martin boots and lashings of Vivienne Westwood make Christine’s signature look stand out from the crowd, understated chic at it’s best. The dress she is wearing is a Vivienne Westwood Gold Label ‘Gigot’ dress, I have the same dress in different fabrics, a simple white cotton and printed Union Jack. I actually wore my white Gigot on the same day but I doubt anyone would have recognised them as the same dress. I always think it is fascinating to see how different people choose to wear the same things, I always wonder about how designers feel to see their pieces walking down the street!

Street Style Manchester: Happy Monday

Wags, formerly of the Happy Mondays and Black Grape, aged forever young, Manchester, doesnt have favourite shop but is writing a book on phobias

I have been shooting some street style around Manchester for Style.etc magazine and my freelance work and wanted to share some of the images with you in a street style series.

This is Wags, as some of you will recognise  formerly of the bands the Happy Mondays and Black Grape. Wags is a fun guy, really friendly and always up for a chat. I admire his laid back cool look, you can tell he has rock in his blood. Wags was wearing a black suit and white shirt, Clarks desert boots a favourite with Northern rock starts and two coral necklaces. The day I shot this he was helping out his friend on her jewellery stall. We chatted about the book he wants to write on unusual phobias. Wags hates clowns, there was even a song wrote about that, I confessed I find moles hands a bit freaky, they way they look like humans hands, something not right about that.