Behind the Seams: the Beautiful People

Wednesday 2 February | 11:30am - 1pm | £50

In the mid-1960s, a handful of Chelsea boutiques sparked a fashion revolution. Their outrageously flamboyant designs were inspired by romantic ideas of the past; Byron-esque frilled shirts were paired with Regency brocades and plush velvet trousers were mixed with influences from Morocco and the Far East. They blurred gender boundaries with increasingly androgynous styles, creating an explosion of colour, pattern and decoration. These radical designs were quickly adopted by an emerging, youthful counterculture: The Beautiful People.

The Beautiful People’s eclectic and dramatic fashions were created by a range of talented and much-celebrated designers - their wardrobes were full of creations by Barbara Hulanicki (Biba), Alice Pollock and Ossie Clarke (Quorum), Michael Fish (Mr Fish) and Bill Gibb. Today, works by these same designers feature heavily in the Fashion and Textile Museum’s own collection.

At Behind the Seams: the Beautiful People, Fashion and Textile Museum Collections Officer, Gill Cochrane, offers the rare opportunity to explore pieces by these iconic designers, specially selected from the Museum’s own collection. You’ll take an up-close and intimate look at garments and accessories, with opportunities to handle several fascinating pieces. Gill will lead you through the some of the design features and construction techniques that place these pieces uniquely in the 1960’s and 70’s, alongside discussing their engaging histories and connection to the exhibition, Beautiful People: The Boutique in 1960s Counterculture.

Gill Cochrane has worked at the Fashion and Textile Museum since 2011 and has been involved in the installation of more than 25 exhibitions at the Museum and other venues during that time. Gill gained a Master’s Degree in Collections Care and Conservation Management from West Dean college in 2018.  Previously she worked at the Royal School of Needlework and as a freelance dressmaker and conservator.

Adult Ticket: £50 | Student Ticket: £35


The Fashion and Textile Museum operates in line with all government guidance in relation to COVID-19. We regularly review our procedures and practices in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our visitors and staff. Find our full visiting guidance here.

- If you or anyone that you have recently been in contact with is displaying symptoms of COVID-19, please do not attend your workshop. If you are unable to attend your workshop for reasons related to COVID-19, please get in touch and we will be happy to reschedule your ticket(s).

- It is no longer mandatory for you to wear a face covering during your workshop. However, we strongly encourage their use wherever possible.

- Hand sanitiser stations remain in place throughout the Fashion and Textile Museum. Please use them as directed throughout your workshop, including when entering and exiting the space.

– Gloves will be available for use throughout your workshop.

- Additional cleaning of our galleries and toilets remains in place, as well as door handles, handrails, and other key areas, including our workshops spaces.

- All Museum staff, including our workshop tutors, have received thorough training in the above new measures and are committed to following them diligently.

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