Fashion & Textiles

With close to 8,500 works the Fashion and Textiles collection actively acquires researches and exhibits historical and contemporary fashion and textiles. The earliest international works are Egyptian Coptic textiles dating from around the 6th century CE while later holdings include 16th century lace, 18th century dress, embroidery and textiles, as well as contemporary fashion from around the globe. The strength of the department’s collection is fashionable dress; exhibitions span all aspects of historical and contemporary fashion. The Australian holdings include the work of 19th century dressmakers and tailors to 21st century retailers and designers alongside contemporary textile artists, milliners and shoemakers. The collection is Australia-wide but has a Melbourne-focus. From bathers to ball gowns our wardrobes house a head to toe of fashion and textile techniques.

The department has a Fashion and Textiles Study Room where visitors can view works by prior appointment.

Collection Highlights

Our Team

Katie Somerville
Senior Curator, Fashion & Textiles

Paola Di Trocchio
Curator, Fashion and Textiles

Danielle Whitfield
Curator, Fashion and Textiles