Fashion Collection Services

Visiting the Fashion stores

We regret that from 1 March 2011 until late October 2013 no textiles or dress (Furniture, Textiles and Fashion Dept.) will be accessible for research appointments. Similarly, no Asian textiles (Asian Dept.) will be accessible for research appointments from 1 October 2011 until October 2013.

This is because the V&A is creating the Clothworkers' Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion, a new dedicated facility to study, conserve, and store the Museum's collection of textiles and fashion. Based at Blythe House in Kensington Olympia, the new Centre will provide appropriate, up-to-date storage to enhance the long-term care of the collection and offer visitors and researchers increased access and improved facilities to study and enjoy this important collection.

As the V&A's textiles and fashion collection is one of the biggest in the world, its size meant that we began packing and moving the collection in March 2011, over two years before the opening of the Clothworkers' Centre. This huge task took place in a series of phased moves, resulting in the gradual closure of galleries and stores. Please also see the Gallery Closures page for up-to-date information.

The V&A's Textiles and Fashion collections and the Asian textiles collection can be accessed online through Search the Collections where images and detailed information about many of the individual objects can be found. More object information entries and photographs are already being added as a result of a cataloguing project that is part of the Clothworkers' Centre development.

Read more about  the Clothworkers' Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion

Buying images

For information on how to buy images of V&A objects, please see the Buying Images webpage.

Enquiries

As well as offering an opinions service , the Fashion section deals with enquiries about the collections, and and fashion history in general. It helps us provide a better answer if you write, fax or email us, rather than telephoning. When enquiring about a specific object, please send a photograph if possible.

Other Departments Holding Fashion or Related Items

Please direct enquiries to the relevant departments:

  • East Asian, Middle Eastern, Indian and South East Asian textiles and dress are part of the Asian Department. Telephone: +44 (0)20 7942 2322
  • The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green has the national collection of children's clothes, baby clothes and dolls. The majority of items date from between the 18th and 20th centuries.  Telephone: +44 (0)20 8983 5200
  • Designs for fashion and textiles, fashion plates and fashion photographs are part of the Prints, Drawings and Paintings Section of the Word and Image Department. Telephone: +44 (0)20 7942 2563
  • Literature (books, catalogues, periodicals etc) on textile and fashion can be seen in the National Art Library (reference only) in the V&A.
  • Archives (manuscripts, designs, unpublished materials) which relate to textile and dress are part of the V&A's Archive of Art & Dsign , based at Blythe House. Access is by appointment only.
  • Jewellery and armour are part of the Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass Department. Enquires to: mwork@vam.ac.uk

Furniture, Textiles and Fashion Department
Victoria & Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
London  SW7 2RL
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2682
Fax: +44 (0)20 7942 2678
E-mail: textilesandfashion@vam.ac.uk

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