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Researching & Writing a Gallery Book: The Pains of Editing

Today we have a second guest post from Kirsty, a student on placement from the University of Glasgow. Another aspect of my research for the gallery book concentrated on the shops and guilds which were a major aspect of commerce in the eighteenth century. I chose to look at a mixture of source material. One of the […]

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Dresses by Molyneux and Maggy Rouff in the Textiles Conservation Studio

A tight installation schedule!

Given we have nine days to hang a two gallery show, object installation is planned down to the hour. A team of six skilled V&A technicians will hang over 300 framed works by Horst and his contemporaries, including a series of 25 large scale colour prints, reproduced from original transparencies. As a photography novice I […]

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T.399&a-1974 Elsa Schiaparelli, Dress and Jacket with gilt embroidery mounted for ‘Horst Photographer of Style’ on a full figure Proportion Ltd mannequin.

Style Never Goes Out of Fashion

The photographs in the exhibition will be supplemented by a selection of 9 ensembles showcasing the work of designers that collaborated with Horst. These include some of the most prominent and influential fashion designers of the 1930s, such as Elsa Schiaparelli, Coco Chanel and Madeleine Vionnet. For the 9 exquisite ensembles, some of which have […]

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Apron worn to de-install The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014. Photograph © Sadie Hough, 2014

Pockets of Glamour

As the last vestiges of Italian glamour are obscured by tissue and Tyvek, and packed away ready for the first venue of an American tour, I am reminded of the role that clothing plays in getting a job done. At the V&A, the periods in which exhibitions are installed and then eventually taken down are characterised by increased […]

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Pattern for a Chesterfield coat, ca.1911 - ca.1928. Archive of Art and Design, AAD/2008/10/1/5/3. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

WW1 Era Clothing: Archive of Art and Design Resources for Re-enactors and Costumers

The centenary of the beginning of World War One this year has inspired re-enactors and costumers to take up their needles and explore the clothing of the period. I’d have been tempted to join in myself if I wasn’t suffering from sewing fatigue from my last project, a 1760s Rococo sacque back gown, which was […]

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E.3853-1960, print showing St. Ignatius of Loyola, Wierix, (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) is an important figure in world Catholicism, but appears little-known in Britain, probably due to the break of the English church from papal authority under Henry VIII. His life was not exactly a classic saint’s tale; he started out as a proud and vainglorious man but he later, when living in […]

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Detail of 303-1887, showing a horseman (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

ZAXAPIOY, where are you?

This morning I oversaw an appointment for a PhD student studying some of our archaeological textiles. The glitzy, fabulous V&A might not seem the most obvious residence for objects of this type. In fact a visitor might even be inclined to think that the venerable British Museum, who have recently audited and rehoused their Egyptian […]

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Artificial heather flower, from a spray used on a bonnet in Princess Beatrice's trousseau

My Own Dear Lace

129 years ago today, Princess Beatrice, the beloved daughter of Queen Victoria, married Prince Henry of Battenberg. Princess Beatrice was the youngest of Victoria and Albert’s nine children. Her mother became increasingly dependent on her after the death of her father in 1861, when Beatrice was only four years old. While her siblings were strategically […]

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Entrance to the Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition, Barbican.

The Uncanny World of John Paul Gaultier

On a recent research trip to the Barbican I had what was both a fascinating and rather uncomfortable experience visiting the Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: from the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. The opening text for the exhibition does much to hint at the unique world you are about to walk into. Gaultier is […]

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Purple silk bodice and skirt, trimmed with cream satin and lace. Made and worn by Harriet Joyce, 1899

The Classic and the Quirky

  This blog post focuses on your questions about breaks from tradition in the exhibition and my own personal response to them: Samuel Bernard: How do you feel the truly avant garde dress designs effect the homogenised view of what the wedding dress should be, and where do you think the future of the wedding […]

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