Time is running out for visitors to experience the exclusive collection curated by dress historian and author Lucy Adlington at Bankfield Museum in Halifax.

Those exploring the museum have until Saturday, 23rd December to immerse themselves in the ‘Opening the Wardrobe’ exhibition. The showcase has been housed in the Fashion Gallery on the museum’s top floor since February 2023.

This complimentary exhibition commemorates women’s clothing and the narratives woven into their fabric. It presents key pieces from Lucy Adlington’s personal costume collection, spanning more than 250 years of women’s fashion evolution, encompassing design, wear, production, and sharing.

Each exhibited garment carries its own unique tale, such as the remarkable journey of a coat from the Second World War or the flamboyant charm of 1970s clubbing attire. Among the exceptional pieces is an artistic recreation of the dress featured in Gustav Klimt’s renowned artwork, ‘Woman in Gold.’

Accompanying the exhibition, a series of History Wardrobe presentations have unfolded throughout the year. The culmination of this year’s live presentations by Lucy Adlington is ‘Top of the Frocks – a 1980s Christmas,’ scheduled for Thursday, 30th November. Tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/top-of-the-frocks-a-1980s-christmas-tickets-440805931407.

Lucy has been amassing clothing and captivating audiences with celebrations of attire and its history for 22 years through her company, History Wardrobe. They have staged over 2,000 shows nationwide, including performances at Shibden Hall and Bankfield Museum.

Feedback from visitors has been overwhelmingly positive, with one remarking, “A fabulous exhibition full of colour and life. A great way to show and teach my daughter history and very nostalgic for nana, thank you!”

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Jenny Lynn, said; “It’s been a year of fantastic fashions at Bankfield Museum, with the Opening the Wardrobe exhibition receiving some incredible feedback from visitors. There’s not long left until the wardrobe closes its doors, so if you haven’t been already, or you want a return visit, make sure you head to the museum before the exhibition ends at Christmas.

“The series of accompanying History Wardrobe events have been thoroughly entertaining and there’s still chance to see the final live presentation, which focuses on festive fashions from the 1980s – expect a riot of colour, power dressing and ultra-glam styles from an infamous fashion decade!”

Lucy Adlington, a published author of young adult novels and non-fiction works on dress history, including the New York Times bestseller ‘The Dressmakers of Auschwitz,’ has also released a new illustrated publication, ‘Opening the Wardrobe,’ which accompanies the exhibition.

Expressing her delight at the Bankfield residency, Lucy Adlington shared, “I love the way clothes connect us to our lives… and our pasts. I’m delighted to be showcasing some of the fascinating and fabulous items from my collection. It’s always a pleasure to work with Bankfield Museum – what a treat to take over their amazing fashion gallery for a year!”

The ‘Opening the Wardrobe’ exhibition is accessible until Saturday, 23rd December. Admission is free, and the exhibition is suitable for all ages. For further details, please visit https://museums.calderdale.gov.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/opening-wardrobe-history-wardrobe-collection-lucy-adlington.

Note that the exhibition is located on the top floor of the historic building. Visitors with specific access requirements are advised to contact the museum beforehand. Additionally, a video tour will be available for viewing on the ground floor.

Bankfield Museum is open on Tuesdays to Saturdays and Bank Holidays from 10 am to 4 pm. Donations to support the collections and exhibitions are always appreciated. For comprehensive information on Bankfield Museum and other Calderdale Museums, including the latest events and booking details, please visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/museums.