Museum-goers can get their fashion fix in Leeds
The country’s foremost fashionistas are set to flock to the capital this week for the spectacular launch of London Fashion Week.
But those in Leeds with a passion for fashion will still get their chance to check out iconic catwalk creations by some of the industry’s biggest names including Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.
The city is currently hosting two sartorially-themed exhibitions looking at the rich history and changing face of fashion through the ages.
Tailored: A Very British Fashion is on at Leeds City Museum and focusses on the art and heritage of tailoring from the eighteenth century to today.
Exploring the evolution of tailoring from Savile Row in London to the Leeds tailoring industry, the exhibition features a jacket owned by Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, on loan from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.
The jacket was made by Leeds-trained tailor to the stars Dougie Millings, who made around 500 outfits for the legendary Liverpool combo, including their distinctive round-necked suits.
The exhibition also features a bespoke suit created by acclaimed Leeds-born tailor Kathryn Sargent as well as work by world-famous contemporary fashion designers Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Roger Saul for Mulberry.
Alongside Tailored, Lotherton Hall is also currently hosting Age of Glamour, which pays tribute to the stunning fashions of the Fifties in the setting of the hall’s new fashion galleries.
As well as featuring pieces from the Leeds Museums and Galleries archives, the exhibition also includes a stunning red Dior cocktail dress from the La Ligne Y collection of 1955, on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, as well as pieces from renowned designers Balenciaga and Norman Hartnell.
The exhibition looks at how Parisian chic changed the world of fashion from design houses to department stores including Leeds’s Marks & Spencer, Marshall & Snelgrove, Schofields and Lewis’s.
Ruth Leach, curator at Leeds City Museum, said: “With the focus turning to fashion this week, it’s great that we have two exhibitions in Leeds that really tell the story of the industry and some of the different ways it has developed over the years.
“Leeds has a world class fashion collection and, alongside some spectacular items on loan, we’re really able to showcase just how good that collection is as well as how important Leeds’s role in the evolution of fashion and design has been.”
Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, added:
“With the eyes of the fashion world firmly fixed on London this week, I’m glad we’re still able to highlight the part Leeds has played in making the industry what it is today.
“Tailoring and fashion are an important part of our city’s heritage and Leeds has produced some talented designers and iconic department stores both of which have made a real impact on the national and international scene.
“Tailored and Age of Glamour show how their contribution has become part of the fabric and development of the British fashion industry and further contributes to our growing reputation for hosting unique and exciting exhibitions.”
Tailored: A Very British Fashion will be at Leeds City Museum until January 3 and entry is free.
For more details, visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/tailored
The Age of Glamour will be at Lotherton Hall until December 31. Usual estate admission applies.
For more details, visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/ageofglamour