Seasons shine a light on fashion

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Fashion and the seasons have strolled through recent history hand in hand.

Whatever the weather, the industry answers nature’s demands with flair.

And as this fetching vintage jacket shows, protection against the elements was not at the expense of style for our Victorian ancestors either.

The dressing jacket, which is on display in Leeds City Museum’s new For All Seasons exhibition, was made in 1875 by McLintocks and Sons of Barnsley.

Made of quilted layers of cotton fabric with a silk fibre filling, jackets like this were very popular in the 1870s.

The lining is filled with coils of silk fibres which was a technique patented by McLintocks.

Silk, like other natural fibres, is excellent for regulating body temperature, keeping the wearer warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather.

Ruth Martin, curator of exhibitions at Leeds City Museum, said: “This beautiful jacket is really eye-catching and elegant and dispels the idea that Victorian clothes were drab and boring. The fact that it was made to such a specialist, patented design shows how much influence the changing seasons have on fashion trends and the clothes we wear too.”

For All Seasons, which runs until August 28 in Leeds City Museum’s special exhibitions gallery, examines the various ways the changing seasons shape the world around us.

Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said: “The seasons, and the profound effect they have on the world, have been an inspiration to some of history’s most celebrated artists, sculptors, composers and musicians and it’s wonderful that the museum will be celebrating this in such an interactive and accessible way.”