Fashion

Fashion is all about making a statement and expressing who you are. From the designers influenced by all things nautical, to the clothing and accessories of high-born royals and lowly sailors, we take a look at how fashion has evolved through the ages.

tissue dress.jpg

What does fashion have to do with all those pestilential plights, and what indeed to do with Samuel Pepys? Well, quite a lot really – the diarist was a wry observer of what went on in the 1660s, and what was worn (and by whom) did not escape his gaze.

Breton 4.jpg

Maritime history has always influenced fashion - and no object more so than the Breton Top. But where did the history of the famous stripes begin?  

Full dress coat - cuff detail, Royal Naval uniform- pattern 1856.jpg

Our uniform collection holds over 7000 items, including items owned by Admiral Nelson, Edward VII and Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher. 

F4094-1.jpg

Our decorative art and craft collections feature silver, ceramics, furniture, glass, jewellery, textiles and sailors' craftwork.

Cocked hat, Royal Naval uniform- pattern 1843 .jpg

The gold lace on naval officers’ uniforms has traditionally be used to indicate rank. But what are its origins?

Elizabeth1England.jpg

Queen Elizabeth I was very conscious of her appearance, and her image was engineered to convey wealth, authority and power. 

Elizabeth1.jpg

As the Queen of England and the nation’s most powerful woman, Elizabeth's taste set the 'look' of the 1500s. 

Omai-PW6429_detail.jpg

When Captain Cook returned from his first voyage he brought with him the term ‘tattoo’ if not the practice itself.

USS Olympia (Cruiser #6), tattooing, circa 1899.jpg

Tattoos have adorned the highest born royals and the lowliest sailor in Europe for at least 5,000 years.

MaoriChief1784.jpg

In the late-18th and early-19th centuries collecting tattooed Maori heads became so popular in Europe that many Maoris were murdered to supply the trade.

Pages