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Recent returns L-R: Vivienne Westwood denim ensemble, 1740s embroidered mantua, and Zandra Rhodes dress

In 2015 alone, 85 items from the Textiles and Fashion Collection went on short loan to museums nationally and internationally. And to mangle the old saying, what goes out must come back. Here at The Clothworkers’ Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles & Fashion, we’ve recently had a spate of returns from exhibitions around the […]

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We Wear Culture – a new virtual fashion experience

18th-century Mantua

Clothes are shorthand for being human Claire Wilcox, 2001 From the fusion of fashion with surrealist art to Vivienne Westwood’s anarchic designs – we’ve collaborated with Google Arts and Culture to unlock the world of fashion with a new virtual experience and a host of online exhibitions detailing the incredible stories behind the V&A’s collections, […]

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Filming Fifi

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

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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From Animal Products to Christian Dior: Opening the Drawer on a V&A/BGC Student Placement

A guest post from Rebecca Sadtler, this year’s Bard Graduate Center MA Student Placement.   There are few things more exciting to a young fashion historian than opening an unassuming drawer and uncovering Christian Dior’s famous New Look ‘Bar’ suit tucked inside, or a Balenciaga evening dress of brilliant cerise silk taffeta, or even a […]

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Unrivalled Shoe Archive

The V&A has an amazing collection of shoes, well over 2,000 pairs spanning over 3,000 years from across the world. Majority of the shoes once belonged to the upper echelons of the society, the best and most extreme in shoe designs, but there are also some footwear that originally clad the feet of farmers and workers. Although […]

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Hunting for Treasure

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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Clogs perfect for Christmas

The traditional simple wooden clog, called geta, comprise of a raised wooden base and fabric thong to keep the foot well elevated above the ground. They look a little bit like wooden flip flops on stilts. The geta, worn in Japan by both women and men with clothing such as the kimono, originally had a practical function; elevating […]

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Residency Retrospective: Marcia Kure

Earlier this year, Marcia Kure was our Visual Artist in Residence. She was with us for 3 months and used this time to prepare for an exhibition at the Purdy Hicks Gallery. Usually based in America, we had a chance to catch up with Marcia a few weeks ago at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair. […]

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Shoe collector Lionel

Lionel Bussey collected women’s shoes from about 1914 until his death in 1969, when he had acquired about 600 pairs. All the shoes were bought new from fairly good class shoe shops, like Dolcis and Lilley & Skinner, many were not even uwrapped, still boxed up with their bills. He took his collection seriously and he […]

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