Back to memories of London.  I’m not sure where the last week has gone….. its just… erm…. well… gone I guess!

At the V&A I was really excited to visit the new Fashion Galleries. 

V&A London Fashion 4

Beautifully set out, rather dark, so please excuse the dim and wobbly photography. Here’s a small selection of my pictures.

Even photos that aren’t quite sharp are enough to trigger the memory, along with sketches and thoughts its a great inspiration.

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Alexander McQueen.  Autumn/ Winter 2010
Part of his last collection, digitally printed with an image from a German altar piece.  (I always photo the information plate before I photo the item too).
This dress was stunning and I must make some of my own clothes using digital imaging.

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Christian Dior 1954
I’ve long admired this garment, its in a book which was a present from DH a few years ago.  I have just looked up the reference on Amazon and can’t believe the price.  I know it wasn’t cheap at the time but now there’s an extra “1” in front.
What an investment piece (! – get it? couture?, investment piece, yes I know I’m sad).  I shall tell DH that books are a wonderful way to invest money with a huge % return and we must buy more!
No, I don’t think he’ll run with it either!

Dior by Farid Chenoune (Author),


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These are the undergarments.
I really, really could wear this outfit.  Well, not literally of course as I’m a good few dress sizes too large, but its my colour and shape.  I love the shoes too.

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Seeing the inside of garments is almost, if not more, exciting than seeing the outside.

Jacket bodice 1886-88.
Ribbed silk and silk satin lined with cotton and whalebone.
Poor whales.

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Its also interesting to see how the undergarments played such an important role in the shaping of the outer garment.
Note the sleeve support from 1825-30, cotton filled with feathers.
The chemise is 1835, linen trimmed with cotton.

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The clothes were displayed beautifully.
My only complaint is that there were far too FEW on display.  I wish I could get to see the archives sometime.
This is a Day Dress 1795-1900. Block printed cotton.
This is the time when embroidery on cloth was superseded by block printed cotton from Indian.

I’m not sure whether to be sad that embroidery rather died, or to be glad to see the beautiful block printing from India. 
Very much mixed feelings.

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This is another garment I’ve long admired.  I stood for a while sketching this item, as its only by sketching that you truly see. I no longer care what people think of me, nor what they think of my sketch book when the look over my shoulder (not hard at my height).

This glorious sumptuous costume is an Evening Coat by Marshall and Snelgrove 1895-1900.
Velvet embroidered with silk thread and wool felt.
Yes, I can see me wearing this too.

I’m often told I should be making things for myself.  So lets see what I can do this winter.  This is sure to be great inspiration.

I also visited the Ballgowns Exhibition where no photography and most annoyingly, no sketching was allowed.  The “no sketching rule” really annoys me.  I won a free ticket to this on Facebook.  It was a great excuse for a London visit.

If you want to see more go and Google “Ballgowns V and A” and click on “Images”, you’ll see the exhibition online.

When I’m at the V&A I always end up in India.
You can see me here in comfortable trainers, sketchbook clasped between my knees.

Again I’ve admired this image in numerous books, but seeing something for real is so, well, special.
If I ever do get to India I think I may be overwhelmed and have a total meltdown not knowing where to look or what to photograph!

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Mughal Hanging Late C17th, cotton embroidered with silk.

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And jewels of course…Mughal c.1600.

Gold engraved and set with rubies,emeralds and diamonds.

Next instalments – more of India then the British Galleries at the V&A followed by the Natural History museum at night and then onto Tate Britain.

All coming soon to a Blog near you.

One thought on “London Part 2a V&A

  • 18/11/2012 at 1:44 pm

    The evening coat is stunning! I, also, enjoy looking at construction details.I can't help but think how *hot* it must have been to wear all of those layers of clothes.

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