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A Chemise for Clean Comfort

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

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…

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

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

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

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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Our Favourite Things: Final Edition

  Tomorrow we finally officially open our doors. The process of developing and installing The Fabric of India has been challenging: a true feat of research, conservation, and logistical engineering. But it has also been inspiring. Beyond the magic of the objects themselves, the dedication of all the staff involved in putting up this show has […]

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And still more! Our Favourite Fabric of India Objects, Part Three

If you’ve been following the blog this week, you’ll know this is the third in our series sharing our ‘Favourite Things in The Fabric of India.’  If not, check out yesterday’s and Tuesday’s blog to meet more team members and their selections. Today we meet: Rosie Wanek, Senior Exhibitions Manager Favourite object: Indigo-dyed muslin “It is so difficult to […]

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A few more of our favourite things

Back again for part two of ‘Our Favourite Things’ from the exhibition’s (now complete) installation. Today we feature: Deepshikha Kalsi, Textile Conservator Favourite object: Embroidered hunting coat “It’s sheer magic in thread! It has such a painterly quality, like it’s been painted in detail by a master miniature artist and then embroidered with single thread […]

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