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Reflections: Costume 1730–2013

Start Date 31 May 2013
End Date 27 April 2014
Venue Ulster Museum
Location Ulster, Ireland
The Ulster Museum has a brand new costume gallery, and they're using it to showcase the very best of their costume collection, from the Georgian period to the present day.

In the world of fashion, what goes around comes around, so that the radical trends of today often turn out to be subtle reflections of the pioneering styles of the past. Fashions change constantly, and while modern dress may appear dramatically different from the way people dressed centuries ago, there are often continuities in design and similarities in style. These may be as simple as a particular colour or fabric coming back into fashion, but more often it is the structure and shape of a dress that is revived.

Designers such as Vivienne Westwood study historic dress in museum costume collections to inspire their creativity. The resulting fashions often echo a previous style, but also add contemporary elements such as a change of hemline or a new type of fabric. This exhibition illustrates these ‘reflections’ and shows how, in the words of Coco Chanel, ‘fashions fade, only style remains the same’.