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The Lansbury Micro Museum

'Live Architecture' exhibition site, 1951
Courtesy The National Archives

This week sees the launch of a new ‘micro museum’, which has opened to the public in a disused retail space in Poplar’s Chrisp Street Market, on the Lansbury Estate in East London. Created by the V&A, the space will host a series of exhibitions over coming months that explore the importance of the Estate […]

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Riveting Rivets

Left to right: rivet, rivet plate, riveter

A good blog should be a riveting read, but this is a blog about riveting… Over the last week this fanciful tool has become a trusted friend as I face the challenge of ensuring our mannequins are going to keep their bits together for the Undressed exhibition and subsequent tour. Forget the saucy underwear – this is what gets me […]

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Guest Post: Exhibition Designer Gitta Gschwendtner Reflects on a Job Well Done (and takes a video)

Installation view of 'The Fabric of India' exhibition, 3 October 2015 - 10 January 2016

Gitta Gschwendtner was the Exhibition designer for The Fabric of India, and worked with the V&A’s team over the past two years to design the delivery of the show. Gitta’s immersive design was integral to the show, and received rave reviews by industry professionals and visitors alike. She now takes a moment to reflect on her […]

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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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Too Petite for Petite: Mounting a 19th Century Corset for Undressed

Marking out the position of the breasts using coloured pins

Costume mounting is the topsy-turvy task of making a mannequin fit a particular object, a job that can often make you feel more like plastic surgeon than a museum employee, as the following post explains… First up on the Undressed costume mounting schedule is this charming cotton corset dating from 1825-35. Don’t be deceived by its […]

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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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Guest Post: Raising the Roof! Mounting Tipu’s Tent

Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Today’s post focuses on the single biggest challenge of the exhibition – both literally and logistically. Those of you who have already visited the show will have no doubt been bowled-over by the majesty of Tipu’s garden-like tent. But getting its massive canopy up was no small job. To give us a behind-the-scenes look into what it took to raise […]

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