Curator’s pick: Fashioned from Nature



July 4, 2018
Sustainable Tencel t-shirt by People Tree © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This week we caught up with Yona Lesger, who is working as an Exhibitions Research Assistant on the exhibition Fashioned from Nature. Yona’s postgraduate degree was in fashion history at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She studied costume design as her undergraduate degree at the Edinburgh College of Art, during which she constructed a dress out of second-hand, tartan shirts; beaded an 1890s dress she made with floral patterns, and made an Egyptian mummy out of leftover linens. Here, she takes us through her favourite pieces in the shop’s Fashioned from Nature range.

V&A Poppy dress coat by People Tree

This dress has a great print and a silhouette that flatters many body types. People Tree and the V&A have been collaborating for years to create beautiful prints inspired by the V&A’s collection. Not only will the dress add a colourful touch to your autumn and winter wardrobe, but its versatility will mean you enjoy wearing it for years. On top of that, People Tree was one of the first, mainstream sustainable fashion brands. It aims to leave as small a footprint as possible, while offering fair and safe working conditions for everyone in its production process.

V&A Poppy dress coat by People Tree © People Tree
V&A Poppy dress coat by People Tree © People Tree

Bangles by Michelle Lowe-Holder

Michelle Lowe-Holder is one of the designers whose work features in the exhibition. She uses end-of-line and vintage haberdashery to hand-make her jewellery. Her creations are unique and bold, and these beautiful bracelets are no exception.

Detail of Michelle Lowe-Holder bangles © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Seagrass bag by Maison Bengal

These bags by Maison Bengal have a lovely pattern and come in three beautiful colours. Maison Bengal works with some of the most marginalised communities in Bangladesh and offers them a fair wage and safe working conditions. Made of locally grown, natural materials, the bags are much more sturdy than plastic bags, allowing you to use them again and again.

Detail of Maison Bengal bag and embroidered orange butterfly brooch © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Merchant and Mills rapid repair kit

Everyone needs a small repair kit with all the basics to mend holes or sew on buttons. This Merchant and Mills kit includes a small pair of scissors, pins, needles, black and white thread, and a tape measure. It is practical as well as stylish, and will help you to repair rather than discard your garments.

Merchant and Mills sewing kit © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Salamis Butterfly print by Göran Liljebergs

This print is linked to much of the research the Fashioned from Nature team undertook for the exhibition. Photographer Göran Liljebergs borrowed this crowned hairstreak butterfly (Evenus coronate) from the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm in order to reveal hidden details of this incredible insect. Its stunning colour and beautiful shape will never stop being interesting.

Salamis Butterfly print by Göran Liljebergs​ © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
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