Taster Lecture: The Colour Black in Textiles and Dress - pre-recorded

Online course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Thinking about an online course? Book now to receive a recording of Jennifer Wearden's fascinating, free one hour long lecture.
To watch this lecture on demand at anytime from anywhere in the world please book by 7 October and you'll receive the recording link and password to view the recording within 24 hours.

Black is probably the most versatile colour in dress. It can be sexy, sophisticated and occasionally mysterious. At the same time black is respectable and authoritative and yet it was a difficult colour to dye and did not appear in any quantity until the 14th century. After that it was worn to great effect by courtiers and more modestly by theologians. It has become the uniform of the professional classes and the essential ‘little black dress’ can be found in many wardrobes. This versatile colour has a rich and sometimes surprising history.
Join Jennifer Wearden’s this September to explore 'Textiles: Prehistory to 1700' or browse the full V&A Academy programme now.

This is a pre-recorded lecture, which can be viewed at any time, there is no need to join at the suggested time you'll see on the right side.

With V&A Academy Online, you can log in to view lectures live and pose your questions in the Q&A for all our courses, or view the recording later in your own time for additional 12 or 6 weeks after the last live session. Download lecture notes, copies of the slides, and additional study materials from our secure learning environment. Then join the conversation: share your perspective with your fellow students, and support each other in your further enquiries outside of class time.

Note: all V&A Academy Online courses - and this taster session - take place on Microsoft Teams. After you book your place, you will be sent a link to the recorded lecture with Q&A within 24 hours and you can enjoy back-watching the recording until Friday 14 October midday.
We recommend Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge for the best viewing experience.

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course photo
Portrait of Course Director Jennifer Wearden

Course Director
Jennifer Wearden

Jennifer Wearden was Senior Curator of Textiles in the Department of Furniture, Textiles & Fashion until 2005. With experience of the textile industry in Lancashire and 28 years working with the textile collection in the V&A, she has co-authored several popular V&A books and has devised and run highly successful courses on textiles and dress

The range of lecturers was excellent. I only watch on demand as I work full time but like being able to break the course into smaller chunks to digest and rewind. It's so helpful to have on demand access on the same day and after the course ended. V&A Academy Student Spring 2022

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Online course: Taster Lecture: The Colour Black in Textiles and Dress - pre-recorded

8 September 2022 - 7 October 2022


Call to book +44 (0)20 7942 2000

Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 9.30 - 17.30, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)

Background image: Cocktail dress and belt of spotted net, designed by Madame Grès, Paris, ca. 1955