Haute Sportswear at Paquin, 1905-1950

'Télémark.' Forest-green ski suit with blouson bodice and long trousers, and matching long overcoat. Designed by Ana de Pombo for Paquin, Winter 1935-36.

A common perception of haute couture is that it is about glamorous evening gowns and special occasion day wear. These days, perhaps that isn’t so far off the mark, but there was a time when couturiers produced clothing for almost any occasion that a lady might require special garments for. Some establishments, such as the […]

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Measure twice, cut once

Our best selling exhibition of all time Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty closed this weekend, and whilst our visitor services staff may be secretly relieved to have the museum a little quieter, for the Fabric of India team this is a salutary moment: we are up next…  Our deadlines are no longer articulated by months but by weeks and days, […]

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Pulling out all the stops: Henry Cole and Royal Albert Hall’s Grand Organ

The Royal Albert Hall: The Great Organ, Orchestra, and Chorus

The BBC Proms season is only just underway so it seems somewhat premature to mention the climactic Last Night of the Proms, when the bronze bust of Sir Henry Wood, borrowed for the duration of the concert series from the Royal Academy of Music and set on a plinth immediately before the Royal Albert Hall’s […]

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 158

08_E6_2014-11-18 13.34.26b

The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 158 I’m stuck in painting and decorating today…to express my joy at that, let’s visit Plaistow and this hardware store. The name is also fitting as the guy in my local bike shop thinks my name is Bernard and calls me Bernie.  I’m far too English to […]

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 156


The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 156 Back to where it all started, well the production anyway.  This renowned French patisserie on Greek St is where I had my first meeting with  #1882Ltd – the manufacturers who have made the Fine Bone China Shops. Maison Bertaux was founded in 1871. Owned by sisters Michele and […]

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 155


The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 155 TV fame today and the most renound fried chicken shop in the land?? @Channel4 #friedchickenshop in Clapham.  At the start of this whole project I derided the shops lower down on The Tower. Especially the Chicken Shops.  Having now really had a chance to think […]

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Faith the collector and curator

(c) Faith Eaton/V&A Museum, London

By Eloisa Rodrigues It is not easy to get into a collector’s mind and understand the reasons why someone chooses to gather selected objects to be part of something bigger. Collecting is a very meaningful occupation. It is a process of deliberative selection of a group of objects “to be lifted out of the common […]

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Intrepid Artists – William Hodges and a voyage towards the South Pole

Crew of the Resolution collecting ice for drinking water

240 years ago, on the 30th July 1775, a remarkable voyage came to an end at Portsmouth.  Having set sail in 1772 the “Resolution” and its sister ship “Adventure”, led by Captain James Cook, had spent three years traversing the Southern Hemisphere, recording previously un-charted waters and islands and making contact with their inhabitants.  On board the “Resolution” was a […]

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 154


The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 154 Had a request today so we find ourselves in Broad Lane, Seven Sisters and Tony’s Dry Cleaners.  Apparently as well as cracking service he has a female mannequin in the shop that has been dressed the same for at least 4 years.  So here’s from […]

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 153


The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 153 Willesden, got to be one of the best areas for shop frontage.  Take this beauty for example. Sticking with Hardware stores.  I wonder how long some of these shops will be around having just read this on wikipedia: In 2015, The Telegraph listed Willesden Green as one of their […]

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