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The collection

The Museum's collection of dress and textiles by 1960s British designers is extensive, comprising items by Ossie Clark, Shirley Craven, Foale and Tuffin, Barbara Hulanicki (Biba), Mary Quant, Zandra Rhodes and Eddie Squires. There are also many examples by famous international designers, including Balenciaga, Cardin, Courrèges, Paco Rabanne, Ungaro, and Yves Saint Laurent.


There have been several V&A exhibitions relating to 1960s fashion and fabrics.

  • Fashion: An anthology by Cecil Beaton, 1971-72
  • The Fabric of Pop, 1974
  • The Way We Live Now: English interiors 1950 to the present day, 1978-79
  • Wendy Ramshaw, 1982-83
  • Tie Dye and Batik, David Bailey, 1983
  • John French Fashion Photographer , 1984-85
  • Tie Dye and Batik, 1985
  • David Bailey: Shots of style, 1985-86
  • Irving Penn, 1987
  • Ascher: Fabric, Art, Fashion, 1987
  • The Plastics Age: From modernity to postmodernity, 1990
  • Pierre Cardin: Past, Present, Future, 1990-91
  • Appearances: Fashion photography since 1945, 1991
  • Streetstyle: From sidewalk to catwalk, 1994-95
  • The Cutting Edge: Fifty years of British fashion, 1997
  • Triple Exposure: Three photographers from the 60s, 1999-00
  • Cosmic Visions: Psychedelic posters of the 1960s, 2000-01
  • To Boldly Go: Furnishing Fabrics by Eddie Squires for Warner Fabrics, 2001
  • Ossie Clark , 2003-04
  • Sixties Fashion Exhibition, 2006-07

The Cecil Beaton Collection

In 1971 the fashion photographer Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) contacted designers and the well-dressed of Europe and America to lend haute couture clothing for the V&A exhibition 'Fashion: An anthology by Cecil Beaton'. Many of the lenders to the exhibition subsequently donated these items to the museum, greatly enriching the dress collection. The catalogue of the exhibition, edited by Madeleine Ginsburg, was published by HMSO in 1971. It is available for reference from the National Art Library on the first floor of the museum.

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New York Fashion

New York Fashion

Focusing on up-and-coming designers and their contributions to the changing fashion industry in the vibrant climate of New York city, New York Fashion…

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Game: The Definery

Luxury or Vulgar? Let The Definery help you decide what objects to own. Simply enter an object into The Definery, answer a series of questions about the object, and wait for its judgement.

Launch The Definery

Event - The Fabric of India

Sat 03 October 2015–Sun 10 January 2016

EXHIBITION: The highlight of the V&A India Festival, this is the first major exhibition to explore the dynamic and multifaceted world of handmade textiles from India.

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