Textiles and Fashion


The V&A holds the national collection of Textiles and Fashion, which spans a period of more than 5000 years, from Predynastic Egypt to the present day. The collection is one of the world’s largest and the most wide-ranging. More than 75,000 individual objects or sets of objects are cared for jointly by the Asian Department and the Furniture, Textiles and Fashion Department, from a broad geographic area covering Europe, South, South East, East and Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

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Joubert: An eighteenth century travel guide to Paris

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In our previous posts, we’ve introduced the workshop, and provided context on the book and its author. This is week is a bit of a departure from silk design, as it concerns Joubert’s advice on visiting Paris. Lyonnais silk designers such as Joubert were preoccupied with how best to respond to the demand from Paris – […]

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Joubert: Life of Joubert and Conference

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In 2016, an eighteenth-century manual will be revived here, in London. This manual is Le Dessinateur pour les etoffes d’or, d’argent et de soie, which in English would more or less mean The Gold, Silver, and Silk Fabrics’ Designer. Its author was the adventurous Antoine Nicolas Joubert de l’Hiberderie. I have branded him adventurous because […]

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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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When there’s too much to say…

T.114-1939 Riding Corset

As the Curator of Undressed I have spent much of the past month writing the exhibition text. There are 160 object labels, and ten 150 word pieces for the panels which introduce the exhibition and each of its nine sections. Every object in the exhibition has to work hard to justify its presence: it needs […]

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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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Joubert – Commemorating 250 years of silk design

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Over the past few months, myself and some colleagues in the Fashion and Textile department, in collaboration with the Courtauld Institute of Art,  have been busy organising a workshop. This will bring together academics, curators and students from different places and backgrounds. The workshop will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the first manual on silk design to be […]

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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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New acquisition: Storm umbrella

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Umbrellas have been used to keep dry since distant antiquity, their basic shape has not changed a great deal throughout history. During the course of my research I found that each year, on average, around 1000 new patents are registered worldwide for ‘improved’ umbrella designs. New designs can include improved, stronger rib technology or alterations […]

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