Inspired by Nature

Research Department
January 21, 2019

With only one week left to visit the exhibition, staff share their favourite garments that have been inspired by nature.

Written by Sarah Trotter, Gallery Assistant

This is my fave skirt that has been inspired by the super tasty and resourceful fruit: the pineapple. This skirt has been inspired by nature due to the fun, funky and fresh-looking pineapple pattern printed on the fabric. It is also made of 100% organic cotton apart from the faux-fur trimming on the hem. This trimming resembles the feel of the small, fluffy, sometimes-rough fibres on the very base of pineapples before they are properly trimmed and chopped for the market.  

I love this skirt because I put in the hours to make it myself using salvaged fabric and scraps of faux-fur trimming that I had found in my fabric box and bought from Ebay. I taught myself to assemble it based on a vintage pattern, using drapery methods and an extensive amount of Youtube watching.  A lot of trial and error went into its creation, however, this skirt has got me through a fair number of festivals, days out and music events. Every time I glance at it in my wardrobe these awesome memories come flooding back: it is basically my go-to skirt – my staple piece.

Written by Kirsty Sullivan, Formal Learning Manager at the Museum of Childhood

This is a Virus-pattern shawl. The colours remind me of the heather, bracken and scrub on the Welsh mountains, seen through early morning mists.

I chose the yarn at a time when I was struggling with a period of hiraeth*. The colours really spoke to me, as I was so busy I hadn’t been able to go home for a fix of Wales in a while. Wearing this makes me feel much better! It’s light enough for a summer evening but warm enough to be a winter layer too.

* Hiraeth is a Welsh word which means ‘nostalgia’, or, more commonly, ‘homesickness’. Many Welsh people claim ‘hiraeth’ is a word which cannot be translated, meaning more than solely “missing something” or “missing home.” To some, it deploys the meaning of missing a time, an era, or a person. It is associated with the bittersweet memory of missing something or someone, while being grateful of that/their existence.

Written by Yona Lesger, Research Assistant of Fashioned from Nature

Although arguably a less original entry than Kirsty’s and Sarah’s garments, this dress has been inspired by nature in its beautiful floral pattern. The blue and white background simulates a slightly cloudy sky on a bright summer’s day, while the bold pink and orange flowers add a wonderful contrast in colour. Together, the flowers and background suggest that you are gazing up at the sky through a beautiful blossoming tree.

I love the dress because I wore it to my postgraduate graduation ceremony and will always associate it with the celebrations of that day, my family and the end of my student time. I like the bold and happy print of the dress and the construction is very flattering. The dress has a crossover neckline, short raglan sleeves and is pleated on the left side, thereby giving a very slimming effect.

If you would like to see more beautiful nature-inspired garments from 1600 until today, you have until January 27 to visit Fashioned from Nature.

The last blog post will be a reflection of the run and ending of Fashioned from Nature by the exhibition’s Senior Curator Edwina Ehrman.

Fashioned from Nature

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About the author

Research Department
January 21, 2019

Yona Lesger is currently working as Assistant Curator on the V&A East Museum. She previously worked as Curator of Modern & Contemporary Performance in the Theatre & Performance department and...

More from Yona Lesger
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