Fashion and Textile Museum – A Museum with a Difference

The Fashion and Textile Museum of London is based in Bermondsey and is operated by Newham College. Apart from being a centre for contemporary fashion, textiles and jewellery, the museum houses permanent and changing exhibitions. It was founded by the iconic British designer Zandra Rhodes in 2003 and it is dedicated to all aspects of fashion and textile design. The museum lays more stress on offering an ongoing programme of temporary displays rather than running a permanent exhibition.

The Mexican architect Ricardo Legoretta had collaborated with Zandra Rhodes to redesign and renovate a warehouse to house the museum. Incidentally it was the first and only building in Europe to have been designed by Legoretta. The redesigned building provided space for exhibitions and a textile studio and printing workshop along with residential quarters. The colour scheme adopted for this building is outrageous as it consists of hot pink, burnt orange, yellow and bright blue. In view of this, the building has become a popular tourist destination on its own right.

Image Courtesy : Panhard

It is a centre for contemporary fashion, textiles and jewellery, founded in 2003 and operated by Newham College, and is now an important entity offering courses for creative students and businesses along with a programme of changing exhibitions. However, for attending the exhibitions, you need to pay an admission charge but you can enter the cafe and shop for free. You can also admire the wonderful converted warehouse’s colourful exteriors without any charge and if you wish to enter the museum, you can only do so at least 45 minutes before closing time.

The Fashion and Textile Museum reopened in 2008 and is home to a cafe that operates 7 days a week. It serves organic dishes and also offers free Wi-Fi. The museum building also has a recommended shop known as Shop@FTM, which provides a fantastic platform for emerging designers to showcase their creative talents. It is also an ideal place to shop for unique gifts. At the museum, two open plan floors are dedicated for providing space for holding the regularly changing temporary exhibitions on fashion and textile themes.

Visitors to London, who move around the whole day visiting various places of interest including this museum, can easily get tired and as such they need to get spa body treatment London, especially a massage treatment in order to get relaxed and rejuvenated. They can also spend a night at the museum with Dino Snores.

Many temporary exhibitions keep taking place at the museum. The forthcoming exhibitions include the Riveria Style: Resort and Swimwear Style Since 1900 that will be exhibited from 22 May 2015 to 30th August 2015, in partnership with King and McGaw. The exhibitions that have already taken place at the venue include the following.

  • Knitwear: From Chanel to Westwood – 19 September 2014 – 18 January 2015
  • Designing Women: Post-war British textiles 16 March 2012 – 16 June 2012
  • The Printed Square – Vintage Handkerchiefs – 22 March 2012 – 16 June 2012
  • POP! Culture and Fashion 1955-1976 – 6 July 2012 – 27 October 2012
  • Tommy Nutter – Rebel on the Row – 20 May 2011 – 22 October 2011
  • Sue Timney – and the design of Timney-Fowler – 16 November 2010 – 25 April 2011
  • Horrockses Fashions: Off the Peg Style in the ’40s and ’50s – 9 July 2010 – 24 October 2010
  • Very Sanderson - 150 years of English decoration – 19 March 2010 – 13 June 2010
  • 30 years of Pineapple by Debbie Moore - 18 January 2010 – 24 February 2010
  • Foale and Tuffin - Made in England – 23 October 2009 – 24 February 2010
  • Undercover: The Evolution of Underwear – 12 June 2009 – 27 September 2009
  • Swedish Fashion: Exploring A New Identity – 6 February 2009 – 17 May 2009
  • Billy: Bill Gibb’s Moment in Time – 24 October 2008 – 18 January 2009
  • Little Black Dress – 20 June 2008 – 25 August 2008
  • Peacocks and Pinstripes – 8 February 2008 – 31 May 2008

 The Fashion and Textiles Museum is a great place for showcasing the creative talents of up and coming designers. However, the museum does not have enough permanent exhibits. To go round the museum, you would need about an hour. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday 11 am to 6 pm and the last admission is at 5:15 pm. The admission charge is £10 but it is free for children under 12 years of age. There is no charge for visiting the shop or cafe in the premises. The museum offers free admission every day for people who wish to visit the permanent display of a small selection of garments by Zandra Rhodes and other world-famous designers.

The nearest tube station to the museum is London Bridge from where you need to take the Guys Hospital exit to reach the museum. The museum does not allow any photography in the galleries.

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