BIG | Level 4

August 1, 2012 to January 26, 2014


Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles and Costume, Level 4
This wide-ranging ROM exhibition showcases textiles and costume that are each in their own remarkable ways BIG… BIG in size, BIG in historical importance, BIG in the news, perhaps created by a BIG name, and often carrying a BIG price tag.

Funky and unique, 40 objects–both historical and contemporary, all gathered from the ROM’s extensive collections–showcase BIG from around the world. They range from Egyptian clothing to 18th- and 19th-century Western costumes to 20th-century Haute Couture. Some have never before been on display. 

BIG is generously supported by the Burnham Brett Endowment for Textiles and Costume and The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation

Michael Kors - Instagram's BIG

2012.25.1 Evening gown, McQueen, Alexander, London, Spring/Summer 2007 and  Zipper vest by Margiela 2011-038.12.
Alexander McQueen, Evening Gown, London,                   Martin Margiela, Zipper Vest (2011.038.12)
Spring/Summer 2007 (2012.25.1)                                        BIG -Martin Margiela Donor Interview


Comment by Orbelina Cortez

I am very interested in the Textiles and Costume department, I was wondering if you have any spaces available in your department for volunteer work, as this is something I would be very interested in doing.

Best regards,

Comment by Frank Waudby-Smith

I see the question, "How long is BIG on display please?" I see the space Reply.
What was the reply?

Comment by John Frazer

I really enjoyed visting the BIG exhibition recently. I was fascinated by the video on how to create a man's suit. I have worn suits my entire working career (just retiring now) and never appreciated the amount of effort necessary to create a good looking suit. Would the video be available on the internet? Can you tell me the name of the tailor who was featured in the video?

Thanks - John

Comment by Lead Concierge

Tailor was Stavros

He sold his business in Yorkville a year after video and has now passed away. There are few such fine tailors left unfortunately as the training is a life time. He was an apprentice at age 12. The time needed to become a highly skilled needle person does not appeal to the new generation so there is great difficulty finding highly skilled craftspeople.

From Alexandra Palmer , Senior Curator

Comment by Alexandra

The name of the tailor is Stavros - shortly after making the video he sold his business in Yorkville . He was one of the last who had such a training and was highly skilled.
Thank you for watching
Alexandra Palmer, Curator

Comment by Jordan-na Belle-Isle

BIG was a wonderful exhibit! The Dior coat-dress was simply stunning and I enjoyed the accompanying video.

Thank you for bringing the art of fashion into the ROM. I'm hoping that Toronto will someday host a large-scale fashion exhibit at either the AGO or ROM, like they've done in Montreal and New York City.

Comment by Linda

I loved the exhibition! It was a little hard to find but it was fabulous once I got inside. Combining the video with the Dior dress was really exciting. The only detraction is that the space in the 'crystal' is not terrific nor very well integrated with the older buildings - but then you already know that.
Thanks so much!

Comment by miranda

l had heard this show is awesome, and l am so interested in it. l had heard its free at a certain day for U of T student, is that right? can you which day is it?

Comment by Lead Concierge

Hi Miranda,

The BIG exhibition is included with our general admission which is free for full time students attending a post secondary institution in Canada on Tuesdays.  Just present your current student card with picture ID on any Tuesday.

Comment by Layla Azer

Hello, I was wondering if you had or know where i can get more information on 2 garments displayed in your BIG exhibition for a school project; apart from the information already written on the plaques displayed inside the ROM. The two garments are "Late Afternoon Dress" by Jean-Philippe Worth and the second is the "Dragon Robe" by Patricia Harris in the textiles and costume gallery on level 4. Thank you.

Comment by Elisabeth Somer...


I am in a womens study group of 17 women which we have had going for 20 years. This year our theme is " Discover Toronto."
I thought of suggesting our next meeting on Monday April 15, 2013 be a the ROM to see the BIG exhibit as I think it would be interesting to our group and fits in with the theme for this year. Many of us grew up in Toronti, or work here now but rarely find the time to go to the ROM and other treasures that the city offers.

Would it be possible to have a guided Tour by 1 of your staff on the BIG exhibit on this date in April?
Is there a group discount for a group over 10 people?
Cost for someone to walk us through the exhibit with some commentary? Nothing super detailed.

Our group is a diverse and fun bunch of women some of us working in the arts/ fashion or design areas actually ( I am a sales agent handling high end European lines in accessories, lingerie and hosiery and a graduate of Ryerson design and merchandising ) and there are lawyers, art teachers, commercial real estate agents and film executives in the gruop. I think all would enjoy seeing this exhibit.

The purpose of our group is to learn something new and outside our general backgrounds via education ,upbringing or what we do for a living!

This month we went ot Creative Matters in Toronto - fabulous custom rug designers ie as 1 of the women represents a rug company and is an interior designer who arranged this as she works with them for her clients. And in January we went to see a documentary at Hot Docs on Bloor street. In the theme of " Discover Toronto" we are trying to take the group to interesting spots to see things in Toroonto this year.

Liz Somerset-Watson

Comment by Nancy

Hi, where can I find information about the fashion workshop scheduled for Sat, April 6th? Price? How to register?

Comment by PAT TAYLOR

I have a Specialist High Skills Major program in Fashion, Hairstyling and Aesthetics. I am interested in bringing a group of about 25 students to the ROM to view BIG. Is it possible to have a guided tour of that exhibit and also be informed of other areas in the museum that may be of interest to our group. I am looking at the second week of May for our trip. Best days of the week to tour would be appreciated. Students are age 16 and 17 primarily.
Thank you
Pat Taylor
POR Social Sciences and Humanities WEST HILL SECONDARY SCHOOL OWEN SOUND ON 519.376.6050X474

Comment by Lead Concierge

Hello Pat,

Yes we have guided tours of the BIG exhibition as well as other areas of the museum for groups.  For special group rates please contact our Group Sales Dept. at 416-586-5801 (extension 2) or email  We look forward to your visit.

Comment by Marie-Louise

I really enjoyed the couple of videos I watched in the exhibition, but didnt have time to view them all. would you consider posting any of those short films online for us?

thanks, ML

Comment by shirley whitaker

Thank you for giving us such a fabulous exhibit. Big is a must see and inspiring show. I only hope that it encourages other departments to reach into there collections and publicly display some of their hidden treasures. My only disappointment is that there is no catalogue for the show because I would love a permanent record of this wonderful exhibit. Is it possible to down load a copy of the your video of the Dior dress?

a grateful member

Comment by Pat Taylor

I am bringing a group of about 20 students to see BIG on October 9. I am wondering if there are any guided opportunities available or any workshop we could participate in while we are there. This is grade 11 Specialist High Skills Major Fashion, Hairstyling and Aesthetics students coming from Owen Sound On. I would need to know about costs as well.
Thank you
Pat Taylor

Comment by admin

Thanks for getting in touch. I've passed your details along to our Learning department and they will email shortly. Please direct any further questions to and they can assist with planning your visit.

Comment by lia

I want to see this exhibit and the Mesopotamia one, but I can see the tickets for this exhibit, how can I buy a ticket to see BIG as well.

Comment by Lead Concierge

Mesopotamia:  Inventing Our World requires a time ticket.  The BIG exhibition is part of the general admission.  When you buy a ticket to Mesoptamia:  Inventing Our World, it includes BIG and the other galleries in the general collection.

Comment by leonie reid

I was so amazed by a beautiful woodcut print called Vie I think it was french. Can you let me know what that was. It is basically blue and white with people lounging in a park.