V&A to display pieces from Margaret Thatcher’s wardrobe
The Victoria & Albert museum in London is set to display ensembles worn by Margaret Thatcher at significant moments in her life in December.
The outfits, a selection of six outfits and a hat, were gifted to the London design and fashion museum by the late Baroness Thatcher’s son and daughter, Sir Mark and Carol Thatcher, as well as her grandchildren, Michael and Amanda Thatcher.
As one of the most important figures in 20th-century political history, Margaret Thatcher’s wardrobe choices reflect key political moments and her role as a stateswoman. As well as being known for her leadership style, Thatcher famously used fashion to give “the right impression”.
The collection includes two iconic outfits made by Aquascutum, the company that provided her with tailored suits throughout her career. A royal blue wool suit and matching silk blouse are joined by an evening suit of pink brocade with floor length skirt and a sleeveless, iridescent silk opera cape.
The gift also includes a caramel silk crepe day dress with a delicate floral print by Daphne Scrimegour; a long navy blue silk dress with gold flower motifs and flower shaped belt buckle designed by Jean Muir; a wool crepe suit in striking fuchsia-pink by Tomasz Starzewski and a printed silk dress and black coat with matching lining by the same designer
Additionally, a wide brimmed, black slub silk hat with feathers and velvet-flecked tulle designed by Deida Acero, London, completes the collection.
Claire Wilcox, Senior Curator of Fashion at the V&A, said: “Baroness Thatcher was an internationally recognised political figure who used her wardrobe as a strategic tool to project power and inspire confidence. She was notable for supporting the British fashion industry, and patronised many of the leading designers of the day. Baroness Thatcher learnt to dress for the camera whilst in office, and interestingly, amended her wardrobe after the House of Commons became televised in November 1989. This gift constitutes a record of the working wardrobe of one of the most influential and powerful women of the twentieth century, and will form an important addition to the Museum’s fashion collection.”
“The V&A is very grateful to the family of Baroness Thatcher for their kind donation,” said Tim Reeve, Deputy Director of the museum.
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