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MISC.215:1-1988; Red rubber wellington boots; Dunlop, ca. 1959. Held by the Museum of Childhood © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Forecasting rain

    The V&A’s Textiles and Fashion collection holds tens of thousands of objects and is one of the most comprehensive collections of its type in the world. Researching this huge collection is one of the greatest pleasures of my job but, being a busy boy, I cannot devote as much time to research as […]

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Kinky Boots

This article is written by Joanne Pilcher, a volunteer on the Shoes: Pleasure and Pain exhibition and student on the V&A/RCA History of Design course. In my role as a volunteer for the Shoes: Pleasure and Pain exhibition I have been going through the acquisition files for all of the shoes and other objects that will appear […]

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Pyramus and Thisbe (detail)

Love and Nature in a Gold Beaker

This is an updated version of an earlier post, first published on this site on 7 October 2014   An outstanding object in the wonderful Gilbert Collection  of the V&A caught my eye as curator Heike Zech and assistant curator Melodie Doumy took me around the storage facilities while the galleries are being renovated. My own […]

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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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