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Manchester Gallery of Costume: Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell

Posted by Liv Heeney Oxfam Fashion blogger

29th Apr 2014

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Recently I have been on two fashion day trips, which I would highly recommend to any fashion fan and particularly those who are interested in vintage fashion.

The first of which, was to the Manchester Gallery of Costume, I remembered seeing this mysterious fashion museum in Manchester a few years ago and assumed it was off the beaten track as I had never come across it during my many shopping trips to Manchester. Whilst looking for somewhere to go for a day trip in Manchester I decided to research it with some help from friends and family who live there. I was able to locate the museum and found out it was easily accessible from the city centre.  

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One of the best things about this museum is that it is totally free to get in, even the exhibitions. When I went there the current exhibition was on Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell; arguably the most influential couple in British fashion history. The exhibition consisted of 25 outfits from the height of Ossie Clark's career in the 60s and 70s. Many of the featured outfits were in beautiful pastels,  a trend which is once again popular this spring  just reinforcing the ever popular belief that fashion does come in cycles.

For as long as I can remember owning an original Ossie Clark Maxi dress has been on my fashion wish list so for me this exhibition was particularly special. This current exhibition is on until Sunday the 29th June 2014 so there is still plenty of time to go and see it. 

The museum's collection is also very impressive showcasing clothing and accessories from the 17th century to contemporary times.  Each era has an average of six outfits which showcase the variety of fashion at each of these times. My Favourite part of the collection was the fashions from the 1920s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s which I personally find the most contextually interesting. These are also the eras which I most often try recreate the essence of. 

The gallery itself is located in the middle of a beautiful park so I would definitely recommend visiting over the summer and bringing a picnic. It is also close the famous Curry Mile which is also definitely worth a visit and a good place to go for tea afterwards.

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Blog post written by Liv Heeney

Oxfam Fashion blogger

More by Liv Heeney