Susanna Cordner

Title: Assistant Curator of Texiles and Fashion
Department: Furniture, Textiles and Fashion

I specialised in Fashion History on my Masters Degree and am fascinated by all things sartorial and the stories these pieces can tell. I've worked on exhibitions such as 'Wedding Dresses 1775-2014' and 'Club to Catwalk: London Fashion 1980'. I like to study the structures and systems at work in the production of clothing - and anything with a little too much sparkle.

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From Feathers to Fascinators: Part Three

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 Hat of marabou feathers with metal and L.E.D light system, made by David Shilling, 1996. Museum number: T.456-1996

Jenna Banat is a volunteer in the Furniture, Textiles and Fashion department here at the V&A. In the third in a series of three blog posts, Jenna is going to take a look at some examples of feather hats in our collection. Some Ascot hats are a celebration of traditional styles; others are designed to […]

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From Feathers to Fascinators: Part Two

Kiss of Death Bonnet: Black satin bonnet with pheasant feathers, designed by Jo Gordon, Britain, 1994. Museum number: T.139-1996.

Jenna Banat is a volunteer in the Furniture, Textiles and Fashion department here at the V&A. In the second in a series of three blog posts, Jenna is going to take a look at some examples of feather hats in our collection. During the twentieth century, the ideal image for women was to look delicate […]

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From feathers to fascinators: Hat inspiration for the Ascot Races by Jenna Banat

Coniston Hat, made by Frederick Fox, 2000. Museum number: T.33-2003  © V&A Collection

Jenna Banat is a volunteer in the Furniture, Textiles and Fashion department here at the V&A. In a series of three blog posts, Jenna is going to take a look at some examples of feather hats in our collection. Using inspiration from the objects within the Clothworkers’ Centre that I have had the fortune of […]

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Waving Off the Brides and Grooms

Jenny Copsey and her new husband on the steps of St Pancras Town Hall at their wedding in 1971

As the idea of a wedding dress exhibition at the V&A was first proposed ten years ago, before its development, tour and ten months on display at the V&A, it feels like the end of an era as we approach the 15th March closing date of ‘Wedding Dresses 1775-2014′. With that in mind, we thought we would bring […]

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Start as you mean to go on

Evening Dress by Balenciaga, 1962

While I was studying for my MA, I used to use research trips to London as an excuse to head to the V&A. In particular, since I obviously always ended up in the Fashion Gallery, I used to ‘visit’ a dress by Balenciaga. The Fashion Gallery case displays are rotated and changed every few years, […]

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A Romantic Frame of Mind

Honiton lace veil, 1865 © V&A Collection

As well as placing the bride in a slight state of mystery for her groom as the ceremony commences, a wedding veil flatters and frames the woman’s face. As in all aspects of wedding wear tradition, a veil must balance style with symbolism. As the ideal of a well to do young bride in white […]

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Hunting for Treasure

T.61-1972 - Tapestry designed by Jean Lurcat, 1963-64

Acting as a link between our stores and galleries, the North Court Store has served as a temporary home to many objects as they enter our Textiles and Fashion collection or are at the ready to go on display. As the space is soon to be converted as part of the V&A’s FuturePlan project, we […]

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Hitting the Sales

Debenhan & Freebody wedding dress, 1926 © V&A Collection

As January now seems forever associated with the sales, this month’s post will explore the history of purchasing wedding dresses from the late eighteenth century to the present day. An 18th century bride would be expected to marry prepared with a trousseau appropriate for her new life as a wife. Depending on her familial circumstances […]

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A Boxing Day Wedding

Metal minaudière decorated in faux pearls, 1956

We all need a little glitter come the festive season, and brides are no exception to this rule. As previously explored, winter weddings – preferably made white with snow – offer the opportunity for velvet dresses and fur stoles. The dark days also mean such ceremonies are lit by further candles and lights than their […]

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Friends of the Couple

Suit worn by Christopher Breward for his Civil Partnership ceremony, 2006 © V&A Collection

While we are honoured to have the wedding dresses of celebrities on display, we were equally touched to be loaned and trusted with pieces worn by those who are, perhaps, less well known but no less significant. While curating the exhibition, an emphasis was placed on representing lots of different kinds of brides and weddings […]

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