The V&A's collection of 1960s fashion and textiles

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.

Displays

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.

A gift in your will

You may not have thought of including a gift to a museum in your will, but the V&A is a charity and legacies form an important source of funding for our work. It is not just the great collectors and the wealthy who leave legacies to the V&A. Legacies of all sizes, large and small, make a real difference to what we can do and your support can help ensure that future generations enjoy the V&A as much as you have.

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