November 3, 2023
December 6, 2023

I recently travelled to Manchester to see a fashion exhibition.

The journey time was over 4 hours each way so imagine my surprise (and horror) when I realised the exhibition was confined to one small room!

After my initial shock, I realised the curators at Manchester Art Gallery had been very clever. Their ‘Unpicking Couture’ exhibition was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Being used to the huge extravaganzas held at places such as the V&A and Design Museum, this was very different, and it was intended to be. Although there were fewer garments the gallery encouraged the viewer to interact, to think, to ponder, to even draw (easels/paper/pens were provided) what we were looking at. In the end I must have spent a good hour or more deliberating on my observations, rather than moving swiftly through on the ‘conveyor belt’ effect often found at the larger galleries.

The photo shows the dress at the entrance to the exhibition. By Cristobal Balenciaga, the caption accompanying it read “A dress is far more than a dress. Every garment tells a story. A dress is a story we wear.” Along with a smiley face emoji, an accompanying video interview related just how emotional we can be when it comes to what we wear. Clothes can make us happy, or sad. They can lift our spirits, bring back a memory, make us feel like we’re on top the world. I have always been of the belief that clothing is a tool for well-being, and it seems this exhibition agrees with me.

So, the story of your clothing is our next topic at our Coffee and Conversation – or as someone in the UK pointed out to me, Cocktail and Conversation might be more appropriate, especially as the festive season is calling.

Do you have jeans that hug your shape and lift your spirit? Does the height of a certain heel bring back a romantic memory? Perhaps the smooth fabric of a silk shirt soothes a scar or injury, so you can breathe easily and know things are fine?

Please join us for conversation related to a garment that’s special to you. What’s the story about it? How does it add to your wellbeing?

Wednesday December 13th at 5pm UK, 12 noon ET – we don’t record the session so you need to be live.

To register please use this link and the zoom link will be forwarded to you:


I, along with Kerry, Ellen, Geraldine and Clarisse (our host for this session), look forward to seeing you. Our goal is to share experiences, deepen our insight and extend our friendship. Please bring both your laughter and wisdom.

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