Lunchtime Lecture: Chinese Dress in Detail

This talk is part of the V&A Academy Lunchtime Lecture Series. No booking is required.

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • V&A South Kensington

    Cromwell Road
    London, SW7 2RL

  • The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre

  • Free event

Lunchtime Lecture: Chinese Dress in Detail photo

Join the author, conservator, and photographer of the V&A's new publication Chinese Dress in Detail, published by Thames & Hudson in partnership with the V&A, for a head-to-toe exploration of Chinese dress as they go behind the scenes to reveal fascinating stories and the creative process behind the making of the book. The speakers will disclose secrets and new discoveries from the exquisite detail of the garments, including the use of rare materials such as peacock-feather threads and gelatine sequins for embroidery; fashioning imperial headdress with three different types of imitation pearls; and illustrating a love story based on a romantic tragicomedy Chinese play, the ‘Peony Pavilion’. The talk will be illustrated with a selection of stunning imagery from Chinese Dress in Detail.

Author Sau Fong Chan is a curator in the V&A's Asian department and looks after the textiles and dress collections from China and Southeast Asia.

Elizabeth-Anne Haldane is Lead Conservator of the Textile Conservation Team at the V&A. The team are responsible for the conservation of all different types of textiles and dress in the V&A collections and their work includes preparing objects for publication, display or loan. She will uncover the work that goes into preparing objects for photography, including conservation treatment to clean and repair the wide range of unusual materials that the objects are made from, and the mounting of items of dress on mannequins to present historically and culturally accurate silhouettes.

Sarah Duncan is a Senior Photographer at the V&A. She has worked as a cultural heritage photographer for the past 15 years, including at The Science Museum, The Horniman Museum and Westminster Abbey. She has had her images published in over 25 books and has been part of several exhibitions including at The Royal Academy. Sarah will explain what is involved in photographing for a major publication. She will be discussing examples of her work, lighting choices, and her creative process.

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Header image: Hair pin, Qing dynasty © Victoria and Albert Museum, London