Baroness Thatcher's outfits donated to V&A


Six outfits worn by Baroness Thatcher have been donated to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) by the former prime minister's children - but there is no handbag.

The ensembles and a hat were worn by the late prime minister at "significant moments in her public and private life".

Highlights from the former prime minister's wardrobe will go on public display in December, in the Museum's fashion gallery.

Baroness Thatcher wearing one of the six outfits which have been donated to the Victoria and Albert Museum (Chris Young/PA)

The outfits have been donated to the V&A by Baroness Thatcher's children, Sir Mark Thatcher and Carol Thatcher, and her grandchildren.

The collection includes a royal blue wool suit - with statement shoulder pads - a silk hat with feathers worn at Sir Denis's funeral and a wool crepe, fuchsia-pink suit.

The blue wool suit and matching silk blouse were designed by the British company Aquascutum, who provided Baroness Thatcher with tailored suits throughout her career.

Aquascutum also designed what is being described as one of the most spectacular pieces: an evening suit of pink brocade with floor length skirt and a sleeveless, iridescent silk opera cape with sweeping train.

One of the outfits (PA)

The donated items also includes a caramel silk crepe day dress with a floral print by Daphne Scrimgeour, the Baroness's personal dressmaker.

As well as a wool crepe suit in striking fuchsia-pink, a colour favoured by her husband Sir Denis Thatcher, the donated clothing includes a wide brimmed, black slub silk hat with feathers and velvet-flecked tulle, worn by Baroness Thatcher at funerals, including those of Sir Denis and former US president Ronald Reagan.

The V&A said that the outfits belonging to the former prime minister, who died in 2013, would "form an important addition to the museum's fashion collection".

One of the outfits (Michael Stephens/PA Wire)

Claire Wilcox, senior curator of fashion at the V&A, said: "Baroness Thatcher was an internationally recognised political figure who used her wardrobe as a strategic tool to project power and inspire confidence.

"She was notable for supporting the British fashion industry, and patronised many of the leading designers of the day. Baroness Thatcher learnt to dress for the camera whilst in office, and... amended her wardrobe after the House of Commons became televised in November 1989. This gift constitutes a record of the working wardrobe of one of the most influential and powerful women of the 20th century, and will form an important addition to the Museum's fashion collection."

The V&A said that it would still welcome the chance to acquire one of Baroness Thatcher's handbags.

"Throughout her life, Baroness Thatcher used her wardrobe choices to reflect her role as a stateswoman. Her handbag was part of her public persona alongside her royal blue suits and soft neck-ties. The V&A would welcome the chance to acquire one of Baroness Thatcher's handbags to complement this gift."