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Pet Cemetery: Henry Cole, Jim, Tycho and Pickle

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This blog was prompted by an enquiry we received recently about the two commemorative plaques for ‘Jim’ and ‘Tycho’ set into the wall in an obscure corner of the V&A’s John Madejski garden. On Thursday, 30 January 1879, Sir Henry Cole (1808-82), the V&A’s first Director, wrote this poignant entry in his diary: 49 Wilton […]

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Our Private Pinterest Board: The best of our rejected contextual images

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First I’d like to thank the wonderful guest bloggers we had over the past few months who have done a fantastic job of sharing their expertise and insight with us. We hope you’ve been enjoying these blogs posts as well. If so, you’ll be happy to hear we’ve enlisted even more amazing people to post in […]

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The art and craft of shoes

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I thought it was important to give shoe designers and shoe makers a voice, to let them talk about their visions and craft in the exhibition Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, and not only have their end products on show. How do you make shoes? How do you come up with new ideas for shape and […]

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Guest Post: A Warrior’s Magic Shirt

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Behnaz Atighi Moghaddam is an assistant curator in the Middle Eastern section at the V&A. Since she joined the Museum two years ago, she has carried out research on talismanic shirts and other objects of that type. Thanks to this expertise she was temporarily drafted onto the Fabric of India team when conservation work began […]

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Golden Glitter: Recreating the aventurine speckles on the Dresden Cabinet

Gently heating the film with a hairdryer to soften it ©Tristram Bainbridge

Today’s post comes from Tristram Bainbridge, Furniture Conservator, who has been working on this eye-catching 18th-century writing cabinet for display in the new Europe Galleries. The cabinet will feature in the Fantasies display, which explores fashionable Europeans’ fascination with Chinese and Japanese imagery and the resulting hybrid style that became known by the French term […]

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What to wear when you don’t have a halo

278:3, cutting from a choir book, initial D with a miniature of St. Agnes. Germany, 15th century. © V&A Museum.

Sometimes, when looking through medieval manuscripts, it seems that everyone is wearing a halo – page after page of holy families, saints and virgin martyrs! This beautiful image of Saint Agnes (with her lamb) has beautiful flowing hair, a shimmering halo, and a heavenly crown. But a mere mortal woman could not copy this look. […]

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Liam Byrne interview on BBC Radio 3

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Our music resident Liam Byrne was interviewed and performed in BBC Radio 3 yesterday. He talked about his residency and his relationship to the V&A collection – and of course about his upcoming performances inside Trajan’s column! You can listen to it in the link below, Liam starts talking at 1:21:34 and then again at 1:37:52. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05xqczq […]

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Impractical shoes

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To mark the opening of our wonderful ‘Shoes: Pleasure and Pain’ exhibition, I’d like to share with you these photographs, which came to light as part of my ongoing research into the historic reference photographs we have here at the V&A. These images show shoes in the collection of the Musée de Cluny in Paris. […]

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Guest Post: Mounting – Drawing attention to the intentionally disguised

Perspex samples © Richard Ashbridge

This week our blog post is by Sophie Richards, our Fabric of India Exhibitions Assistant, who gives us some behind-the-scenes insight into what you hopefully won’t notice during your visit!  I’m Sophie, the Exhibitions Assistant on The Fabric of India. I haven’t contributed to the blog before, but I am in the background of several photos […]

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Paquin: Parisian Fashion Designs 1897-1954

'Poursuite'. Design for a skirt suit and coat by Lou Claverie for Paquin, Paris, mid-1950.

Over the last few years I have been working through a remarkable collection of over 9,700 fashion designs from the House of Paquin. Covering the period from Winter 1897 to Winter 1953-54, these designs (many bound in impressively hefty volumes) were acquired in 1957 following the 1956 disestablishment of the Paris House of Worth, who […]

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