Susanna Cordner

Title: Exhibition Research Assistant on 'Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear'
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. Before working on 'Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear' I worked on exhibitions such as 'Wedding Dresses 1775-2014' and 'Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s'. 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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A Chemise for Clean Comfort

T.148-1961

Chemise

Unknown
possibly Great Britain
1851
Linen, trimmed at the neck with muslin frill

In a meeting late last week, a colleague was talking about the importance of caring for your clothes, and loving and enjoying a garment for something other than its newness. In Japan, certain traditions fold around their cultural idea that material (and so, by association, clothing) grows more beautiful with age and wear. There is […]

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Filming Fifi

Fifi Chachnil holds up a pair of her classic bloomers during filming © Bridget Veal

AV (= Audio Visual – so, this tends to mean film) material has become an expected feature in exhibition design. While we don’t want this material to distract from the objects themselves, film and sound can be a great way to further engage with visitors and add to the exhibition’s mood and atmosphere. With the […]

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Trying Out Tights

Textiles & Fashion storage at the Clothworkers' Centre, Blythe House  © V&A Collection

It’s been a very busy week full of developments in the design and text for the exhibition. Some of the team spent Thursday morning at the Clothworkers’ Centre at Blythe House. This is where we store our Textiles and Fashion collection, which holds over 104,000 objects. It’s also a brilliant study space in which you […]

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Introducing the Textile Conservation and Mounting team

A silk dressing gown from 1875 (T.193-1984) being assessed © V&A Collection

Hello from the Textile Conservation and Mounting team. If you followed the “Wedding Dress” and “Fabric of India” blogs then you will have met some of us before and you will know all about the Textile Conservation Section here at the V&A. For The “Undressed” Exhibition we have one Textile Conservator, Albertina Cogram, who is […]

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Welcome to the Undressed blog

T.18-1958 Underbust Satin Ribbon Corset, c.1895 © V&A Collection

Welcome to our blog for the V&A’s forthcoming exhibition Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear. As we reach the six month mark in the run up to the exhibition’s opening in April 2016, our team’s preparations are already in full swing. A chance to show some treasures, over 200 objects will be going on display. […]

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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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