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Last Updated: Monday, 5 June 2006, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
Major fashion collection on show
Model with Jean Muir outfits
Model Aline Serpa Elias shows off some of the vintage outfits
One of the largest archives of a fashion designer's work secured by a museum has been unveiled.

The National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh have received a major donation of more than 18,000 items by world renowned designer Jean Muir.

The clothing, accessories, sketches, patterns and other pieces date from 1966 until her death in 1995.

The NMS said the collection been acquired thanks to the generosity of Muir's widower, Harry Leuckert.

Born in 1928, Muir worked for Liberty and Jaeger before starting her own business in 1966, creating classic outfits, known for their long, fluid lines and skilful tailoring.

She was a founder member of the Museum of Scotland and involved in fundraising for the institution.

It gives unrivalled insights into the entire workings of a successful fashion designer
Fiona Anderson
NMS

Fiona Anderson, senior curator of dress and textiles at NMS, said: "Jean Muir was one of the UK's leading fashion designers and she had an international following.

"The collection is the largest and most complete record of a fashion designer's work held by a museum internationally.

"It gives unrivalled insights into the entire workings of a successful fashion designer."

She added that as well as featuring signature work in navy and black, it also showed unexpected elements, including a great use of colour.

Jean Muir
Jean Muir was a key figure in 20th Century fashion

Mr Leuckert said: "Both of Jean's grandparents came from Scotland and she was tremendously proud of her Scottish roots.

"She loved the country, its landscapes and its people and used a great number of Scottish craftspeople in her work throughout her career."

Mr Leuckert said that he hoped the donation would inspire the next generation of great designers.

Jean Muir Ltd is still owned by Mr Leuckert and celebrates its 40th anniversary in October this year.

Celebrity fans include Barbra Streisand, Joanna Lumley, Diana Rigg and Judi Dench.


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