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The V&A's reserve collection store at Blyth House in Olympia was the setting for Artangel's intriguing 2010 installation incorporating mysterious text definitions by Adam Phillips alongside artworks conceived by Judith Clark/

Set in the working store for the V&A’s vast reserve collections, The Concise Dictionary of Dress began with a journey through a turnstile, into an industrial goods lift and up to the first in a sequence of  definitions in a walk-through dictionary of dress.

Cast objects and photographs, tableaux of clothing and accessories were arranged amongst the rolling racks and wrapped objects stored at Blythe House, the former headquarters of the Post Office Savings Bank in Olympia, west London. The anatomy of the building revealed surreal and evocative interventions in unexpected places; metaphors of repression and ceremony; fragments of the clothed body briefly glimpsed.

Commissioned by Artangel, The Concise Dictionary of Dress re-described clothing in terms of anxiety, wish and desire, as a series of definitions created by psychoanalyst Adam Phillips and accompanying installations designed and assembled by fashion curator Judith Clark.

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Dictionary of Children's Clothes: 1700s to Present

Dictionary of Children's Clothes: 1700s to Present

Over the last 300 years, children's clothing has witnessed a gradual shift from dressing children to adult requirements, in multiple layers and formal…

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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 - Indian Textiles: Dress and Jewellery

Thu 01 October 2015–Thu 10 December 2015

10 WEEK SHORT COURSE: From ancient times India grew to become the greatest producer and exporter of textiles the world had ever known and developed a trade that became a foundation for the success of the British East India Company, reaching it’s height in the C18th and C19th.

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