Keira Miller

I work as a Costume Mounting Specialist in the Textile Conservation Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum. I spent the whole of 2009 preparing the first phase of Wedding Dress for its international tour and have since followed the show around the world.

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Slippery Sari Sagas and Delightful Draping


Here in Textile Conservation we are just over half way through mounting the garments for display in The Fabric of India. A few weeks ago, our studio was all a-flurry with the unwrapping of mannequins and the speedy draping of a collection of stunning and vibrant contemporary saris for publication photography. That was by no […]

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Innovation and Individuality for a 1960s Bride

The installation team for Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 have now moved onto the mezzanine level of the gallery space, and one of the first objects to be installed is one that demonstrates how individuality became a key feature of outfits worn by modern brides from the 1960s onwards. Pictured above are Jewellery Designers Wendy Ramshaw and […]

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There Go The Brides – The Installation Begins

At long last the final preparations for Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 have begun. The early part of last week saw us moving objects out of Textile Conservation and into the newly decorated gallery spaces, ready for installation. As well as moving the recently conserved and mounted objects, we have also been taking delivery of all the […]

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Not Just a Load of White Dresses

There are some days when I end up taken aback by how enjoyable a day I have had at work.  The day we received the sari destined for display in Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 was one such day.  The fashion collections at the V&A vast, and hold hundreds of garments from around the word. Until now […]

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Bridal Photography

I am somewhat reluctant to post this latest instalment, because the standard of photography is about to sky rocket and swiftly put my all the previous images to shame. Oh well, here goes… Photography forms an essential part of preparing for an exhibition, and we try to ensure that the objects included in every exhibition […]

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High Street Mannequins for Contemporary Brides

While many of our historical garments are displayed on dress stands, as demonstrated in an earlier post, we will often display more contemporary costume on retail mannequins made from fibreglass, much like those used on the high street. The glitch tends to be their idealised shape, since few ordinary humans match their ultra-sleek lines. This […]

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Taking the Train: Mounting, Packing and Touring the Wedding Dress of Margaret Whigham

Among the star objects in Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 is this stunning dress was worn by the acclaimed society beauty and gossip columnists’ favourite Margaret Whigham, for her 1933 wedding to Charles Sweeny. Their wedding took place on February 21st 1933 at Brompton Oratory, London, and crowds of people gathered to catch a glimpse of the […]

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Bridesmaid – Eileen Amy Brock

If you thought we were only preparing bridal gowns for the upcoming Wedding Dresses 1775- 2014 exhibition – think again! The exhibition also features several grooms’ outfits, and even a few outfits worn by bridesmaids and page boys. The first of these to undergo treatment was a dress and hat ensemble worn by Eileen Amy […]

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Bespoke Bodies for Bespoke Brides

Without a doubt, every garment that appears in the Conservation Studio is unique in some form or another, and as a result, every mannequin has to be custom built to a certain degree, be it through padding, as shown in an earlier blog, or through close collaboration with our mannequin makers. There are going to […]

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Conservation Friendly Updos: The Art of Making Wigs

One of the real success stories from the Wedding Dresses exhibition has been the development of a series of conservation and travel friendly wigs. While the sheer volume of the dresses provided our greatest challenge, a secondary problem was that of how to mount and travel the accompanying veils, hats and head pieces which were […]

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