Blooming Marvellous: flowers in fashion, 1700s โ€“ 2000s

on until Saturday 3rd September 2022

Ball gown, c.1898 โ€“ 1902

Whether sculpting cloth to resemble flower heads, weaving blooms into dress fabrics, printing or applying them in the form of embroidery, designers of dress and textiles have long used flowers in their work. The fleeting beauty and unending complexity of the flower has been a constant inspiration; resulting in pieces of huge visual appeal and endless variety.

This exhibition features gorgeous garments selected along a floral theme from the Olive Matthews Collection. Men’s, women’s and children’s dress and accessories from the 18th century to the present day, with beautiful examples of woven, printed, embroidered and sculpted blooms, are displayed in our fresh and fragrant fashion gallery.

Virtual exhibition

This exhibition is now available as an immersive 360 degree virtual tour. Experience what it is like to be in the gallery itself and click on the hotspots to find out more.

Created by Simon Sadek @