Into each life some rain must fall

 

If, like me, you have been a victim of Britain’s unpredictable and frequently inclement weather you may have observed two things:

 

  1. British people have a tendency to discuss the weather frequently and at great length.
  2. A lot of time has been expended trying to find methods to stay dry.

 

E.524:493-2001 Postcard Va benone...ecco che piove!; Postcard, Milford Haven Collection, 'Va benone...ecco che piove!', Man putting up his umbrella against 'rain' caused by dog urinating, lithograph, Italian, ca.1904 Italy Ca. 1904 Lithograph © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

E.524:493-2001
Postcard
Va benone…ecco che piove!; Postcard, Milford Haven Collection, ‘Va benone…ecco che piove!’, Man putting up his umbrella against ‘rain’ caused by dog urinating, lithograph, Italian, ca.1904
Italy
Ca. 1904
Lithograph
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

The first point we all recognise only too well. On Sunday last, a day bright and at times brisk, I found myself recounting the full history of this winter, and the two before it; I spoke of dog-walks in snowstorms, maroonings at train station and of the always-cold half of the bed. The second point is academic: nobody likes being damp and chilly (look no further than charming pictures of orang-utans with improvised leaf umbrellas for evidence of this). But to what end do I grandstand the obvious?

 

‘Opening’ in April, in time for the famous showers, is a small display in the V&A’s fashion gallery. It will look at some of the rainwear produced and worn in Britain over the last century or so, citing construction and materials. There is only so much that can be said in the gallery, and so it will be supplemented by a few posts, here on the V&A blog, which will/should help to flesh-out that little show.

 

To get you in the mood for the coming wetness, a quote from a friend: ‘You know what they say: if it isn’t already raining it’s about to rain’ (L. Rytter).

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