The Collection

The Gallery of Costume houses one of the largest collections of clothing and fashion accessories in Britain, containing over 20,000 items.

Printed velvet hat by Cristobal Balenciaga, 1952The Gallery of Costume is housed in the elegant surroundings of Platt Hall, an 18th century textile merchant's home. 

The collection contains clothes worn by men, women and children from the 17th century to the present day. Many of the clothes represent high fashion of the day. Other, much rarer items represent the basic but equally interesting dress of working people, such as the clogs and shawls of Lancashire weavers.


Women's kaftan-style dress by Vuokko, 1968-69The Gallery continues to collect all kinds of clothes worn by people in Britain, including contemporary designer wear, sports and leisure clothes, underwear and the fashions of Manchester's South Asian communities.

Because of the vast size of the collection, only a small percentage of the total can be on display at any one time. However, you can explore the costume collections further by browsing our collection themes or search for specific items using the collections search.


Fashion Journals

The gallery has an extensive collection of fashion journals and periodicals available for research. You can download full details below and request access to the collection by contacting:

Tel: +44(0)161 245 7245


Download a list of all the periodicals ordered by century, and alphabetically, without any details of runs/holdings. This list gives the earliest and latest dates of the volumes/issues currently held at the museum.