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Le Strange Fruit

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Back arrow27/3/06      Back to blog      31/03/06Forward arrow


Spent the morning looking retrospectively at some pieces, which I had already viewed, namely some Yuki and a couple of Vionnet pieces which I needed to see again. This would be the last time in the North Court Store. In the afternoon, I went with Kate to Blythe House to look for some pieces that were stored there. Was not really sure what to expect since Blythe House is a shared storage facility for many museums, and is so vast, each corridor looks the same as the last. The stores were rather different to those in the V&A proper – open spaced, with interspersed rails of fashion items. Rummaged through some collections donated by wealthy patrons, and had a look at the wardrobes containing items from the Street Style exhibition.
Shoe boxes in the V&A stores
Kate then showed me cupboards of finished and half made shoes from the Rayne archive, some still in their original lasts. Was surprised to hear that these have rarely been viewed but it struck me that they might be of interest to Cordwainers. I also discovered a Louis Vuitton box by sheer accident. This contained a mass of toile garments, dating approximately from the 1950s. Discarded, ignored and dirty these pieces seemed to epitomise my search for the unknown and understudied. I am hoping to further my studies of these items. For me they encapsulate the idea of the maker and the work in progress and are crucial in my search for the unknown. I left Blythe House feeling rather rejuvenated after this discovery with my mind set on seeing these pieces again.
Shoe in last

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