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Clogs perfect for Christmas

The traditional simple wooden clog, called geta, comprise of a raised wooden base and fabric thong to keep the foot well elevated above the ground. They look a little bit like wooden flip flops on stilts. The geta, worn in Japan by both women and men with clothing such as the kimono, originally had a practical function; elevating […]

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What Does it Take to Work in a Museum?

Training week for Second Year Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) students [Note: The V&A and a number of other cultural organisations co-supervise several cohorts of CDP students. CDP students are a category of AHRC-funded PhD students, who work closely with both a university and a cultural organisation and are supervised by both.] For four days in […]

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Are you sitting comfortably? – or, plumping up a 17th century Dutch cushion

With the weather getting that bit nippier out there, it’s rather nice to turn our thoughts to home comforts. However in this case it is the home comforts of a 17th century Dutch household. This tapestry cushion cover will feature in our Dutch Domesticity display. In 1648, after a long military struggle, the Dutch Republic […]

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One of Dr. Gygi’s hoarding subjects in Tokyo. © Fabio Gygi, 2014

Too Much Is Not Enough: Attitudes Toward Accumulation and Hoarding in Japan

by EVE ZAUNBRECHER The popularity of reality TV shows such as Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive have introduced hoarding into popular culture and have raised interesting debates about rampant consumerism and the politics of mental health disorders. Hoarders, once dismissed as ‘pack rats’ or ‘messies’, have now been located on the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder spectrum […]

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Design Culture Salon 12, V&A Museum

Fashion cycles and design culture

Anyone standing outside the disciplines of fashion and design research might be surprised to discover that conversations between the two are not as fluid or productive as they might be. Within the art school, for instance, the two are taught as quite distinct disciplines with their own traditions, cultures and identities. Recognising these boundaries and […]

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A Surrey Cottage, 1880, watercolour by Helen Allingham. Courtesy of Burgh House & Hampstead Museum

Cottage Gardens: Fact or Fiction?

by Sophie Foan   The English are well known for their love of gardening. From village flower and produce shows to inner city allotments, evidence of this is manifest nationwide. The public have long enjoyed visiting the gardens of grand country houses made accessible by the National Trust, and programmes such as Gardener’s World are […]

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What buckle?

Today I went to the Clothworker Centre in Blythe house to look for buckles!   A number of shoes included in the exhibition Shoes: Pleasure and Pain date from the 17th and 18th centuries. During this period buckles progressively substituted laces. Shoe buckles were worn by both men and women, and remained in fashion for […]

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Shoe collector Lionel

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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There are so many shoes

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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Why shoes?

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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