The Yorkshire Fashion Archive provides a wonderful historical and cultural record of Yorkshire life and documents clothing produced, purchased and worn by Yorkshire folk throughout the 20th Century. The Archive has now collaborated with current fashion students of the School of Design, University of Leeds, UK and The Woolmark Company to re-imagine and re-interpret some of its archive pieces using wool in the new exhibition Wool Re-Fashioned.

While the new pieces are a great demonstration of the versatility of wool as well as other fabrics such as leather or even neoprene, vintage lovers will particularly love the original donations to the archive.

We caught up with Vivienne Rivis (pictured above) who donated a 1967 wool dress she had bought in London and a matching cape which she had made herself. “I had no money as I was a student at the time, so I made lots of my clothes myself” Vivienne told us, “my grandmother gave me some money for the material so I bought the fabric and made the cape. I made lots more clothes, inspired by labels like Biba or Mary Quant.”

“I eventually became a teacher and was told that lady teachers did not wear trouser suits. This was in the late Sixties! For me the late Sixties and early Seventies changed everything, far more than just fashion. It was about political protest, Vietnam and Civil Rights.”

All the items in the exhibition, such as a beautiful war time wedding dress, a Seventies man’s suit and an Ossie Clark gown, come with detailed descriptions about the people who have donated them, revealing the stories and tales behind their wearers.

‘Wool Re-Fashioned’: An innovative collaboration between the Yorkshire Fashion Archive and The Woolmark Company.
Friday 7th September – Sunday 11th November 2012
Monday to Friday 10am to 5.30 pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am to 6.00pm

Gallery 2, Salts Mill, Saltaire.  BD18 3LA

Admission is free