Blenheim Palace showcasing Icons of British Fashion

Each year the Fashion Museum invites an industry expert to choose a ‘Dress of the Year’ to add to its collection of more than 100,000 objects, and four pieces from this collection will be included in the Icons of British Fashion showcase.

These garments include Jean Muir’s 1979 black silk jersey dress, tailored leather jacket and black beret as well as black suede leather shoes by Manolo Blahnik for Zapata, John Galliano’s 1987 and 1994 winning dresses, and Dame Vivienne Westwood’s 2010 pale green ribbed shot silk dress.

Oxford Mail: Jean Muir's 1979 black silk jersey dress, tailored leather jacket and black beretJean Muir’s 1979 black silk jersey dress, tailored leather jacket and black beret (Image: Supplied)

It is also loaning 29 iconic Rootstein mannequins.

Several Jean Muir designs from the 1980s will feature, such as a black and white striped faux fur coat, black silk blouse and blue knitted dress.

The exhibition will run until June 30, with each room in the 300-year-old palace paying tribute to a British fashion icon.

Designers being celebrated include Barbour, Bruce Oldfield, Jean Muir, Lulu Guinness, Stella McCartney, Stephen Jones Millinery for Christian Dior, Temperley London, Terry de Havilland, Turnbull & Asser, Vivienne Westwood, and Zandra Rhodes.

The palace is also honouring its own icon of fashion, Sir Winston Churchill, with the 150th anniversary of his birth coinciding with the exhibition.

Kate Ballenger, keeper of palace and collections at Blenheim Palace, said: “We’re already so privileged to collaborate with some of the world’s biggest and best names in fashion, so to be able to also partner with the Fashion Museum Bath on what’s been years in the making is honestly a dream.

“The pieces graciously being loaned to us at Blenheim Palace truly encapsulate what we’re trying to showcase and celebrate and are the cherry on top of this world-class exhibition.”

The manager at Fashion Museum Bath, Rosemary Harden, also expressed her excitement about showcasing the signature pieces in the iconic location.

She said: “The Fashion Museum Bath is honoured and delighted to be part of the Icons of British Fashion exhibition.

“Blenheim Palace has always been a centre of fashion in Britain from its stylish occupants and glamorous guests, to showcasing up to the minute catwalk fashions.

“We’re thrilled to be contributing to this fashion legacy by presenting some of our signature pieces from the Fashion Museum’s Dress of the Year collection and celebrating the creativity and talent of these legendary British designers.”

Admission to the Icons of British Fashion exhibition in 2024 comes free with any valid Blenheim Palace ticket.

Tickets can be booked at

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