A small collection of 1980s fashion is going on display in the V&A museum, and the clothes were all worn by Margaret Thatcher while she was Prime Minister.

The collection, which includes outfits worn by the former Prime Minister at significant moments in her public and private life, has been donated to the V&A by her family.

Throughout her life, Baroness Thatcher used her wardrobe choices to reflect her role as a stateswoman. She  recalled in her 1993 memoir The Downing Street Years, “I took a close interest in clothes, as most women do: but it was also extremely important that the impression I gave was right for the political occasion,”

As the leader of the Conservative Party, blue was a significant colour which she wore regularly. The ensemble represents quintessential 1980s fashion with statement shoulder pads. Aquascutum also designed one of the most spectacular pieces in the gift: an evening suit of pink brocade with floor-length skirt and a sleeveless, iridescent silk opera cape with sweeping train, which was made for the Lord Mayor’s banquet in 1988 at London’s Guildhall.

The gift includes a wide-brimmed, black slub silk hat with feathers and velvet-flecked tulle worn by Baroness Thatcher at Sir Denis’s funeral in 2003 as well as for the funeral of former US President Reagan the following year.

A selection from the gift will go on display in December in the V&A’s fashion gallery.


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