Past Exhibition Ran from 21 April 2018 to 27 January 2019

Fashioned from Nature

The first UK exhibition to explore the complex relationship between fashion and nature from 1600 to the present day

Inspiring V&A show determined to incite change

Karen Dacre, Evening Standard

This exhibition is now closed at V&A South Kensington

This exhibition presented fashionable dress alongside natural history specimens, taxidermy and unprocessed plant and animal fibres, inviting visitors to think about the materials of fashion and the sources of their clothes.

Supported by

From grower to point of sale, the European Confederation of Flax and Hemp – CELC – brings together all players in the European flax fibre industry. Founded in 1951, CELC is the specialist representative of 10,000 enterprises in 14 European countries, overseeing the fibre, from plant to finished product. Its reach extends internationally by stimulating innovation and building on the values of natural fibres with established environmental qualities.

Exhibition Highlights

Silk waistcoat embroidered with silk in a pattern of monkeys, backed with linen
Waistcoat, 1780 – 1789, France. Museum no. T.49-1948. Museum no. T.49-1948. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Mantua and petticoat of red silk brocaded with red, silver-gilt, silver, blue and brown in a large pattern of flowers
Mantua, 1760s, France. Museum no. T.252 to C-1959. Museum no. T.252&A-1959. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Coat completely covered in pale pink cellophane arranged in fan shaped motifs with graduated imitation pearls attached
Evening coat, Alix (Madame Grès), 1936, France. Museum no. T.234-1976. Museum no. T.234-1976. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Trouser suit in multicoloured cotton and polyester woven fabric, with text across the top half
Trouser suit, Bruno Pieters for Honest By, 2017, Belgium. Museum no. T.1702:1&2-2017. Museum no. T.1702:1 to 4-2017. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Cotton muslin dress with green beetle-wing and metal thread embroidery
Muslin day dress decorated with beetle wing cases, 1868-9, Britain. Museum no. T.1698:1 to 5-2017. Museum no. T.1698:1 to 5-2017. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Hat trimmed with Himalayan monal pheasant feathers
Hat of suede and Himalayan monal pheasant (Lophophorus impejanus), Lucienne Rabaté for Reboux, 1946, France. Museum no. T.384-1974. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Black leather man's jacket with metal studwork of a skull and the words 'clean up or die'
‘Clean Up or Die’ man’s ensemble, Katharine Hamnett, 1989, Britain. Ankle boots by Shellys. Museum no. T.208 to E-1990. Museum no. T.208-1990. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
‘Rootbound # 2’ dress, Diana Scherer, 2017, Netherlands. © Diana Scherer
Black silk satin skirt trimmed with machine made lace and silk chiffon. Brocaded with roses and flowers
Skirt with train, about 1890, England. Museum no. T.35-1950. Museum no. T.35-1950. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Outfit made from leather off-cuts and surplus yarn, Katie Jones, 2017. Photograph by Rachel Mann
Blue patterned mens shirt with black trousers and black shoes
Jacket and trousers, John Malkovich, 2017, France. Shoes, Christian Louboutin, 2018, Italy. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Ensemble, Stella McCartney, Winter 2017. © Stella McCartney
Calvin Klein Green Carpet Challenge dress worn by Emma Waston to the MET Gala 2016. © Matt Baron/REX/ Shutterstock
Jacket and jeans of Cradle to Cradle Certified™ denim at the Gold Level, shirt and boots, G-Star RAW, 2018, Netherlands. © G-Star RAW

Past Events


Fashioned from Nature
Additional support from
Background image: Fashioned from Nature, 2018. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London