Collection & Consultancy

Mark has turned a passionate hobby into a professional business as he lectures and writes on the subject of antique menswear. As well as working with the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs among others, Mark’s collection has been used for a number of media productions, including; Lincoln, with Daniel Day Lewis, Ridley Scott’s Napoleon and The Borrowers.

Mark started collecting old clothes aged 12 as he was thrilled by history and thought that owning an article from the past, and then actually wearing it, was the closest he was ever going to get to time travel. Since those days of saving his pocket money his schoolboy purchases have grown to what the Victoria & Albert Museum believes to be the largest private collection of historic menswear in the United Kingdom. The earliest pieces date from the mid-17th century and his cut-off date is the First World War.

Mark’s wide-ranging collection embraces civilian clothing, court and country wear, military and civil uniforms, formal attire, workwear, sport and entertainment clothing spanning those dates. The items tell the story of menswear and themes of masculinity down the ages. The bulk of the collection is British but a sizeable number of pieces are French and there are more than a few items of American clothing.

The Mark Wallis Collection can entirely clothe the gentleman of a bygone age, providing him with all that he would wear, use and carry; as a costume designer as well as a costume historian, Mark believes that accessories are vital to the whole ensemble. Items from his collection are available for research purposes or hire and in some instances for purchase. In addition, Mark’s 50 plus years of expertise are also available as required.

Bloomsbury Publishing has commissioned Mark to write a book about his collection, in partnership with Alasdair Peebles, noted collector of boys’ clothing. It is thought that this will be a unique publication (deadline summer 2025).

As a museum educator at the Hungarian National Museum I feel honoured to have participated in Mark Wallis’ training course. Mark was invited to Budapest to train museum workers from all over Hungary to be First Person Costume Interpreters.
He taught us a lot, made us practice our skills, test our limits and inspired us to improve our abilities. Mark did all this with infinite kindness and a keen sense of humour that made stepping out of our comfort zone comfortable. We all now have new ideas for the future.
Anna Righetto, Education Dept & Cultural Manager, Magyar Nemzeti Muzeum.

Get In Touch

We’d love to hear from you