Colours: Moments in fashion 

Exhibition now closed 26 Sep 2008 – 13 Sep 2009
Free entry

Colour has been an essential element of fashion for centuries. Through a fabulous array of clothes and accessories from Te Papa’s collections, this exhibition celebrates the popularity of six colours in Western fashion from the 1800s to the present day.

The six colours are black, red, blue, yellow, orange, and pink. Black is not technically a colour, but is accepted as a colour in the fashion world.

Colours explores some of the reasons each of the six colours is associated with specific eras and fashion movements. Despite these changing trends, people also choose colours to express the way they feel, or the way they wish to appear. Through the rich and varied garments on display, the exhibition focuses on some of the changing meanings associated with colour.

Most colours have distinct origins in fashion. Colours follows the evolution of coloured fabrics – from naturally sourced textile dyes to the scientific and technological breakthroughs that produced brighter, synthetic dyes for commercial use.

French fashion designer Coco Chanel said, ‘The best colour in the whole world, is the one that looks good, on you!’  Come and enjoy this wonderful exhibition and decide for yourself!

Chicken Suit
Chicken Suit, 2002, WORLD, designed by Francis Hooper and Denise L’Estrange-Corbet

> See more clothes and dresses from our textile collections