Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fashion and Textiles at the V & A

The fashion gallery is probably the most popular gallery at the V&A.  It has a collection of clothing from the last 300 years from famous designers and not so famous ones also.  Some of the clothing is made from fabulous hand embroidered fabrics and some are quilted and "sculptured" pieces.  This time they also have a gallery of costumes from plays in the city.
So lets get started:
This piece is a quilted outfit that was worn under the suites of armour.  We thought upcycling was new - these outfits were made from old quilted bedcovers.  The quilting is quite intricate and it was all done by hand.
There are many embroidered textiles in the collection some are sashes worn by knights and some are hand embroidered yardage made into clothing.

The ladies jacket is hand embroidered with a silver thread couched in a meandering pattern on the surface of the fabric it also has silver spangles (17th century version of a sequin) stitched on it.

This is a man's waist coat.  Even men got there clothing hand embroidered.
This gown is called the Origami gown.  It was designed in 2009 by the Korean designer Lie Sang-Bong and is a reinterpretation of a traditional Korean wrapping cloth.  It is made of organza and we counted 17 layers of fabric.  It is stunning!! Sorry about the photo's it was in a glass case and the reflection caused some problems with the photos. 
The new gallery with the costumes was fun.  It had an interactive area where kids and adults could dress up in costumes take photos - there were a few families enjoying getting dressed while we were there.  For me the intricate costumes were the most interesting part.  Unfortunately I forgot to get down what plays these costumes were from but I am sure you will like seeing them anyway.
Designed by Bruno Sandini in 1977 - "fairy queen" from the opera Oilanthe.
This is a rhino costume it has two people in it with bicycle chains to make the tail and the head move - up close it has the texture and colour of a real rhino (not that I have been that close to a real rhino lately).
This one was called "full" English breakfast.  I don't know what show it was from but it was worn by Dame Edna and it is hilarious.
Time for bed - I will post some more tomorrow. 


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Victoria and Albert Museum

Today we visited the V & A museum of art and design.  It is the second time I have been there but I still haven't seen everything.  The museum is in an incredible building with some beautiful mosaic floors
   and painted ceilings.  All of these are great inspiration for quilt patterns.
To me the building is as impressive as what is housed in it.  In the main entrance is an amazing glass chandelier that could be called an art installation as well. It looks a little like medusa!!

The V & A has always been known for its collections of textiles, tapestries and fashion but it also has an art and design reference library, an glass and architecture gallery, sculpture, photography, medieval, Asian, Ecclesiatical art, costume and  jewelry galleries as well a a beautiful courtyard with paddling pool for the kids and a place to have lunch.
Tomorrow I will post some photos from the fashion and textile galleries.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

London Calling!!

Just arrived in London UK.
We are here on a "working" vacation.  My family has archive (national archive and the royal geological society) work to do and I will be checking out quilt and bead shops as well as the London textile museum, royal school of needlework at Hampton Court Palace and the Victoria and Albert Museum, Portabello market and the garment district as well as a trip to Wiltshire to see family and Stonehenge (finally) and the I will be shopping and  writing reviews and posting photos.
Hope everyone enjoys them.
Time for bed now (10:14 England time) we have been up for more than 24hours wearing the same cloths so a good night sleep will really help.
Off bright and early to the Victoria and Albert Museum tomorrow to check out the fashion,  tapestry, embroidery and textiles galleries.  Will be posting photos tomorrow. As always there will be photos of floors, doors and ceilings.  If you don't look up and down you will miss a lot of design ideas.