In the summer of 1963, fashion illustrator Barbara Hulanicki established a mail-order company selling affordable fashion appealing to a new generation of young women, which she named Biba.
The Biba Story explores how fashion phenomenon Biba blossomed to become the world’s first lifestyle label, sparking a revolution in how people shopped and how Biba earned its spot as the brand that epitomises 1960s and 1970s fashion.
The exhibition focuses on the years 1964, when the first Biba boutique opened, to 1975, when the legendary Big Biba closed its doors to the public. Displaying fantastic archival pieces of clothing, original photographs, film, and material all of which have been personally chosen by Barbara Hulanicki.
‘It isn’t just selling dresses, it’s a whole way of life’, Barbara Hulanicki, 1970.
Martin Pel is curator of fashion and textiles at the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton. He has curated numerous exhibitions including Lee Miller: Dressed (2023), Stephen Jones Hats at the Royal Pavilion (2019), and Biba and Beyond: Barbara Hulanicki (2012). He has authored, co-authored and edited four books including The Biba Years 1963 – 1974 (V&A Publishing, 2014).
Image Credit: Eva by Barbara. Copyright of Barbara Hulanicki.
In place of a permanent display, the Fashion and Textile Museum hosts a diverse programme of temporary exhibitions, displaying a broad range of innovative fashion and textiles from designers and makers around the world.
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