Room 40

Plan a visit

Spanning five centuries, our Fashion collection is the largest and most comprehensive collection of dress in the world. Key items in the collection include rare 17th century gowns, 18th century ‘mantua’ dresses, 1930s eveningwear, 1960s daywear and post-war couture.

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The collection is particularly strong from the 18th century onwards, containing mainly European fashion and accessories for men and women, together with important items of 19th century dress for the elite in India, China and Japan. The collection also includes a wide range of accessories from across the world, including footwear and hats.

Collection Highlights

Hat, designed by Simone Mirman, about 1955, London, England
evening dress
Evening dress, designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, 1954, Paris, France
man's suit
Man's suit, designed by Mr Fish, manufactured by Hexter, about 1968, London, England
pair of shoes
Pair of shoes, 1550 – 1070 BC, Egypt
Mantua, 1755 – 60, England
Plato's Atlantis, dress, designed by Alexander McQueen, 2010, London, England