Manchester Fashion Gallery

Previously housed at the Gallery of Costume at Platt Hall for over 70 years, from October 2022, the collection has had a new home. A new specific Fashion Gallery has been created at Manchester Art Gallery, with the inaugural show, Dandy Style, 250 years of British Men’s Fashion. 

The collection has one of the largest British collections of fashion and clothing. Located two miles south of the city centre, the Gallery of Costume was founded in 1947 when Manchester acquired the large private collection of costume which Drs Willet and Phillis Cunnington had amassed during the 1930s, and which concentrated on middling and ordinary dress. The 19th century holding, including a large archive and library of fashion related material, was particularly significant, forming the nucleus of the collections even today.

Beginning with the stewardship of Anne Buck in 1947, a succession of curators has ensured that the strengths of the collections have been built upon in such areas as sportswear and occupational dress, whilst the breadth has been considerably expanded so that we have a wealth of representative material from 1600 onwards, including the Filmer collection of early 17th century dress. There is also a fine selection of 18th century women’s clothing with over 100 dresses, and an excellent collection of children’s costume. Menswear too has been a priority, as has Manchester-labelled clothing.

More recently the collection has concentrated on increasing its holding of top-end couture to complement the more mainstream or high-street pieces, ranging from Schiaparelli and Chanel to McQueen and Westwood.

More information on the collection is available here.


Further information
  • Opening times: open 10am–5pm, Wednesday–Sunday
  • Location Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3JL
  • How to get there: By Metrolink – St Peter’s Square or Market Street stations are the nearest Metrolink stations-both are on the Altrincham and Eccles lines; By Bus – Nearest bus stops are in Piccadilly Gardens or on Princess Street; By Train – to Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road or Manchester Victoria stations – take the Metrolink from Victoria or Piccadilly (Altrincham or Eccles direction) to Market Street or St Peter’s Square; By Car – parking is available at the NCP car parks on Chepstow Street, Faulkner Street or Sackville Street – all are within five minutes of the gallery
  • Further information 0161 235 8888