Fashion at Killerton

Tree of Life fashion exhibition at Killerton

As you head up to the first floor of the house you enter a world of historic and contemporary fashion.

The fashion collection, which was started by Paulise de Bush in the mid-20th century, found a home with the National Trust at Killerton in 1978 and now consists of over 20,000 pieces. There is always something worth seeing.

One of the 20,000 historic pieces in collection at Killerton
A neckline of violets
One of the 20,000 historic pieces in collection at Killerton

The collection contains many pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries, with the earliest piece, a man's sleeved waistcoat, dating from 1690. However, it is the 20th century that is particularly well represented, with couture pieces from designers such as Chanel.

A famous piece in Killerton's fashion collection, the Charles Bayer corset
The Charles Bayer corset
A famous piece in Killerton's fashion collection, the Charles Bayer corset

In addition to the many items of clothing, there are numerous pairs of shoes and impressive examples of jewellery, fans, handbags and other accessories. The fashion team display a selection of the collection and showcase approximately 80-100 items with each exhibition.

Bridal accessory, about 1840, from the fashion collection at Killerton
Dainty antique bag
Bridal accessory, about 1840, from the fashion collection at Killerton
Costume Assistant, Charlotte, caring for the collection
A costume assistant packing items of the collection
Costume Assistant, Charlotte, caring for the collection