Tag: dress

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Blue and White: Fashion

Dr Martens 2015

Blue and white has become one of the most popular colour combinations in history. This classic colour palette originated in Asian ceramics in the 9th century. These ceramics spread across Europe and influenced 16th century Delftware and the Willow pattern created by British manufacturers in the late 18th century. It was also during the 18th […]

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Persistence rewarded: the V&A’s Mughal coat


Hunting coat; embroidered satin with silk; 
Mughal Indian; 
c.1620 - 30.

The V&A’s Mughal embroidered coat  is well known as one of the finest surviving examples of Indian court dress, and has been frequently displayed and published since the Museum acquired it in 1947. But in spite of its superb quality, the coat was rejected for acquisition by V&A curators not once, but twice. Its owner was […]

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Objects Alive

Object Lives scholars in the Clothworkers' Centre study room © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This morning the Clothworkers’ Centre enjoyed a visit from a group of Canadian academics, part of a research group called Object Lives, funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Their aim, through the close study of objects, is to ‘assess the flow of goods into and from Northern North America’. Today’s session drew […]

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Fashioning Professionals: Reflections on a Symposium

Gaby Schreiber Industrial/Interior Designer (1916-1991).

Photographer: Bee & Watson, 1948.

Design Council Archive, University of Brighton Design Archives.

  .   Photo: Gaby Schreiber Industrial/Interior Designer (1916-1991), Photographer: Bee & Watson, 1948, Design Council Archive, University of Brighton Design Archives.  What does it mean to be seen and represented as a ‘creative professional’? This was the question we set out to address on Friday 27th March at a symposium hosted by the V&A Research Department […]

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Power Dressing: Siam, Burma, China and the Tai

Illustration 7. Siamese noblemen in typical Siamese court attire of Indian silk brocade, pha yearababh, long sleeved shirt and lower garment, phanung chongkraben, which could be Indian silk brocade, Indian chintz or Cambodian ikat. This dress is to be worn with seu-krui or full-length coat of gold thread embroidery. Inventory number M28/00024. Photograph courtesy of National Archives of Thailand.

by Lupt Utama, MA candidate, V&A/RCA History of Design I grew up in the mountainous city of Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand where Myanmar and Laos meet. As a young boy, I vividly remember my grandmother’s elaborate cotton pha-­sin – a tubular skirt which she secured with a chainmail silver belt, to be traditionally worn […]

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Fashion cycles and design culture

Design Culture Salon 12, V&A Museum

Anyone standing outside the disciplines of fashion and design research might be surprised to discover that conversations between the two are not as fluid or productive as they might be. Within the art school, for instance, the two are taught as quite distinct disciplines with their own traditions, cultures and identities. Recognising these boundaries and […]

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In The Buff

English leather buff coat, 1640-1650, t.34-1948. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The Military Buff coat: A haptic experience During my time as an MA student on the V&A/RCA History of Design course I came across a word, haptic, that has fascinated me ever since. Both its sound when spoken and its meaning have resonated with me since I first heard the word and has often shaped my […]

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Conservation of a Vionnet Dress

Dress, designed by Madeline Vionnet, 1937. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This beautiful dress was designed by Madeline Vionnet in 1937 and was given to the V&A in 1968 by Cecil Beaton. It will be on display in the Horst: Photographer of Style exhibition, due to open in September 2014. The dress will be one of 9 other examples of French couture from the 1930s, reflecting […]

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Pockets of Glamour

Apron worn to de-install The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014. Photograph © Sadie Hough, 2014

As the last vestiges of Italian glamour are obscured by tissue and Tyvek, and packed away ready for the first venue of an American tour, I am reminded of the role that clothing plays in getting a job done. At the V&A, the periods in which exhibitions are installed and then eventually taken down are characterised by increased […]

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A Dress with a View

Silk-satin wedding dress and Honiton veil worn by Eliza Clay, 1865

Wedding dresses are designed with a particular ceremony and site in mind. Beyond the symbolic and ceremonial associations incorporated in its design, such a dress is also created to dazzle and to move in a very particular setting. Therefore, whether it is decorated to catch the candle light of a church, or cut to swirl […]

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