Tag: fashion

Back to the blog front page

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 […]

Keep reading

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 […]

Keep reading

Guest Post: Stitch Narratives – Continuance and Evolution of Running Stitch Embroidery

Stitch detail on jacket by Swati Kalsi

Hello again! This week we welcome Gopika Nath, a textile artist and writer living and working in Gurgaon, who shares our passion for kantha embroidery in both its traditional and contemporary forms.  Read on for a blog post you can almost touch… There is a nip in the air and it’s time to take out the silk […]

Keep reading

Guest Post: An Exercise of Re-fashioning Fashionable Fancy Dress

Copyright Celia Reyer/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Guest post by Celia Reyer, costume intern and winner of The Costume Society’s Jubilee Award 2015. The design inspiration I have found from the V&A Museum of Childhood Collections department has come from my research into the history of fancy dress and the practice of re-fashioning in early fancy dress. Fancy dress originated as an adult form […]

Keep reading

Every Donkey has his Carte de Visite.

Satirical card showing a dog delivering a carte-de-visite

In 1854, a Frenchman, André Adolphe Eugène Disdéri, patented a new form of photograph called the carte de visite. These were small images, typically about 54 mm × 89 mm, mounted on thicker cards that measured 64 by 100 mm; about the same size as visiting-cards (literally, carte de visite). Disidéri’s invention meant that multiple copies […]

Keep reading

New acquisition: Storm umbrella


Umbrellas have been used to keep dry since distant antiquity, their basic shape has not changed a great deal throughout history. During the course of my research I found that each year, on average, around 1000 new patents are registered worldwide for ‘improved’ umbrella designs. New designs can include improved, stronger rib technology or alterations […]

Keep reading

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 […]

Keep reading

Interview with Iris van Herpen

Dress detail, Voltage Haute Couture, Iris van Herpen, 2013, (c) Leanne Wierzba

This interview took place between fashion designer Iris van Herpen and Leanne Wierzba, co-curator of What is Luxury?, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in late-July 2015. Leanne Wierzba: Thank you for agreeing to meet with me to discuss your work, in particular the dress that you have loaned to us for What is Luxury? – […]

Keep reading

Guest Post: Perfect partners: Muslin and cashmere


Jenny Lister is curator of 19th century fashion and textiles at the V&A. Last year, during initial object selections for The Fabric of India, she helped the team choose a muslin dress from the  V&A’s Textiles and Fashion collection. Today, she very kindly relives that selection process for our blog.  As the curator responsible for the nineteenth […]

Keep reading

The Fabric(ation) of India

FOI build 4 - Copy

I must begin with an apology for our collective silence last week.  It really is ‘all hands to the pump’ at this stage of exhibition delivery.  This is not to say we’d forgotten you.  Quite the contrary – in between running around and solving all the little hiccups – Exhibition Manager, Olivia Oldroyd (whose safety […]

Keep reading