17 July 2015 – 3 January 2016 at Leeds City Museum
‘Tailored: A Very British Fashion’ celebrates the art and heritage of tailoring from the eighteenth century to the present day. This unique exhibition at Leeds City Museum brings together a wide range of examples of British tailoring and explores the development of tailoring as a renowned British skill from Savile Row in London to the Leeds' tailoring industry.
Highlights include a jacket worn by Ringo Starr, made by Leeds-trained tailor to the stars Dougie Millings on loan from the V&A, and a specially commissioned suit, made by acclaimed Leeds-born Savile Row tailor, Kathryn Sargent. The suit is further complimented with work by contemporary fashion designers Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Roger Saul for Mulberry.
The exhibition was entirely appropriate given Leeds’ links to tailoring. I hadn't realised that the Leeds tailor Hepworths had become Next. I was allowed to take photos as long as I didn't use flash apart from two displays but it was rather dark so many didn't come out and I haven't attempted to recreate here. Mainly displays of garments and not much about construction. I was rather taken by a riding outfit but unfortunately as it was black it didn't photograph. The model had such a tiny waist! It's impossible to imagine that nowadays. Overall, you might say the exhibition was small but perfectly formed; each display had interesting information. There were also two interactive exhibits - styling your own suit and trying on different styles. We were finished much more quickly than we anticipated as the exhibition was rather small, though it was free entry, so I was glad that we hadn't travelled to Leeds specially.
I was so glad I hadn't tried to go to Cologne - it would have been too much and risked spoiling Christmas. We had a lovely Christmas.