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Shoe collector Lionel

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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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Updates from the Umbrella Movement

Around 2,300 tents have been propped up around the Central Government Offices in Admiralty, Hong Kong. The wall projection is “Add Oil Machine for HK Occupiers” by artists including Sampson Wong Yu-hin and Jason Lam, which displays support messages collected via a website they custom built. Photograph by Becky Sun. © Becky Sun

Many of the social and political movements that form Disobedient Objects are from global and continuing struggles. Though commencing after our exhibition’s opening, the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong is no exception. In this post we rejoin journalist Becky Sun, author of the Umbrella Movement, for an update on Occupy Centrals creative forms of resistance, […]

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Tiki Love Truck celebrates Day of the Dead

The material used to decorate the truck laid out on the gallery floor.

The Tiki Love Truck has been residing in the V&A’s Porter Gallery for the past three months as part of the Disobedient Objects exhibition. Like many of the objects in there, their uses will continue as originally intended once they are returned to their owners and back to the streets. The truck, however, won’t let being displayed in a […]

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There are so many shoes

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How do you decide what shoes to include in the exhibition? There are over 2300 pairs (and some singles) in the V&A Collection; that includes footwear – shoes, sandals and boots – from the Asian department and Furniture, Textiles and Fashion department. A lot of shoes indeed. So to make a selection, the focus has to be on the story of […]

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The Reject Files

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When the idea for an exhibition on Indian textiles was first given the go-ahead, I had some sleepless nights wondering how we could possibly fill even one of the V&A’s massive exhibition halls. I needn’t have worried. Now I have sleepless nights about how much we can reasonably  fit in… From an initial selection of nearly 300 objects, we have […]

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Why shoes?

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It all started on a lovely day in Spring 2010, when I came across all these drawers in one of the V&A stores – full of lovely Indian shoes. The shoes were weird and wonderful, and to me unfamiliar. There were curly toes, long toes, shoes made out of rich and colourful materials, embroidery with iridescent green beetle wings, silk, […]

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Shoes: Pleasure and Pain

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Shoes are on the most evocative aspects of dress. Sculptural and beautiful, shoes are adored by millions. The V&A exhibition, opening on the 13th of June 2015, Shoes: Pleasure and Pain will examine this obsession and discuss how shoes are powerful indicators of gender, status, identity, taste and sexual preference. The exhibition will include over […]

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The Story So Far: A Huge Variety From Around The World

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Hunting Through the Weird and Wonderful at the Economic Botany Collection, Kew Walking into the Economic Botany Collection stores at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the first thing you notice is how chilly it is. Curator Mark Nesbitt does warn visitors to dress up warm – should you ever get the chance to visit, do […]

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Ralph & Russo: Let the Glamour Begin

Courtesy of Ralph & Russo ©

Weddings and fashion shows have something key in common. When attending either, guests wait in excited anticipation for a grand entrance, and a first sighting of The Dress. On Friday, these elements will combine, as the couturiers Ralph & Russo join us at the museum to put on a very special event for our Fashion […]

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The role of beauty in Horst’s photographs

Poppy King views photograph of Muriel Maxwell © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Fascinated with the power of lipstick, Poppy King (Founder of Lipstick Queen) visits the exhibition and discusses the subject of beauty captured in many of Horst’s photographs. The unfolding narrative of female beauty is one written by forces within and forces without. A good photographer can capture one or other, only great photographers capture both. […]

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