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Renovation of Fashion Galleries, Room 40, 2012

The V&A has recently undertaken a major renovation of Room 40, which currently houses the Museum's fashion collection. Opened in 1909 as part of Aston Webb's expansion of the Museum, the gallery was first known as the Octagon Court. It was designed as a spacious domed court with large alcoves, architectural columns, mosaic flooring, and glazed roofing that provided natural light throughout the gallery. It had an upper gallery added in 1962 and the lower space was turned into a space for the display of fashion, which remains its purpose.

The Octagon Court, 1920.

The Octagon Court, 1920.

The newly refurbished Fashion Galleries, 2012

The newly refurbished Fashion Galleries, 2012


The refurbishments reveal the historic features of the gallery with a new lighting scheme and the renovation of the gallery's mosaic flooring. A large part of the Fashion collection is always available to view online at Search the Collections. There are also examples of British fashion to be seen in the British Galleries at the V&A. The renovation has enabled the space to showcase both temporary exhibitions and permanent collection pieces.

This development was completed as part of FuturePlan

FuturePlan is transforming the V&A by revitalising visitor facilities and redisplaying the collections. Using the best architects and designers, we are bringing the V&A into the 21st century and restoring modern design and innovation to the heart of the museum.

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V&A Gallery of Fashion (Paperback)

V&A Gallery of Fashion (Paperback)

Spanning four centuries, the V&A's Fashion Collection is the most comprehensive in the world, housing unrivalled collections of dress, accessories…

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Private Group Tours & Talks

We offer a wide range of tours to meet your group requirements. Whether a group has a special area of interest, wishes to explore a particular gallery or just get an overview of the Museum's collection the Groups Team can help.

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Event - V&A Social

Fri 13 November 2015 19:00–20:00

SPECIAL EVENT: For the first time ever, fashionable dress and textiles will be included in the new displays in the Europe 1600-1800 galleries, which open in December 2015.

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