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, Simone Mirman, about 1955, London, Woven coconut fibre and plaited. Museum no. T.351-1985
Evening dress by Cristóbal Balenciaga, silk taffeta, Paris, about 1955. Museum no. T.427-1967, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Man's suit, Mr Fish, About 1968, Printed cotton velvet, lined with silk, metal, padded Museum no. T.310&A-1979
Pair of overshoes, 1550-1070 BC, Egypt, reed. From Major Myers collection. V&A: 865&A-1903
Court dress, Mantua and petticoat of French silk, brocaded with silver-gilt threads, made in England, 1755-60 of French silk, 1753-55, England; France. Museum no. T.592:1-199
Plato's Atlantis, Alexander McQueen, 2010, London. Museum no. T.11-2010, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London