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Transformation: one man’s cross-dressing wardrobe (at Sudley)

Start Date 30 March 2017
End Date 01 March 2018
Venue Sudley House
Location Liverpool, UK
Curator Pauline Rushton
Exhibition display of dressed mannequins in front of portait and exhibition banner

Born in Surrey in 1926, Peter Farrer lived in Liverpool for many years. Sadly, he passed away in early 2017 aged 90. 

Peter began cross-dressing at the age of 14 and his interest in women’s period costume led him to collect extensively. Over the years he accumulated a huge number of garments, particularly evening dresses made between the 1930s and the 1980s. 

Peter was especially interested in dresses made from taffeta, a crisp lightweight fabric that makes a distinctive rustle when the wearer moves. He had a wardrobe of taffeta dresses made that he wore at home, created for him by the Brighton-based dressmaker Sandi Steyning, owner of the Kentucky Woman Clothing Company. 

This ground-breaking display featured 21 garments from Peter’s historic and modern collection of cross-dressing clothes.

Image © Ben Whyman, courtesy of Pauline Rushton, the National Museums Liverpool.