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┬á