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Exhibitions

Couture Dreams Are Made of This: Dior at the V&A

Descending a staircase adorned with trademark fashion illustrations to a narrow entrance area featuring Dior’s New Look, I realize this is likely to become a bottleneck for visitors, though probably not as uncomfortable as being squeezed into the 19-inch waist of the silk Shantung jacket from the Bar suit that has come to epitomize the house of Dior’s Corolle silhouette.

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Raw Talent and Retro Texture at Collect Craft Fair

No one would have guessed that the Great Pottery Throw Down would make for compelling television entertainment, let alone that BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour would be running its own craft competition to celebrate the programme’s 70th anniversary. Likewise, few could have anticipated the rise and rise of craft, at a time when ‘authenticity’ is everywhere, […]

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Slow Solutions for a Complex World: Visuology Visits London’s New Design Museum

Whether you go to London’s new Design Museum to see the architecture or the exhibits, you are unlikely to be disappointed. Hailed by original founder and inspirational octogenarian, Sir Terence Conran as, “a cathedral of design,” and “the most important moment of my career in design… so far,” the museum brings to life a dream […]

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You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970 at the V&A

The V&A’s new show is much more than just an exhibition – it’s an emotional journey, and a truly mind-blowing experience. Give yourself at least half a day to see this, as there is so much to take in, including news stories, sociology, fashion, films, music, art, design and material culture. The history of this […]

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Peacocks in Textiles, Interiors and Decorative Art: Colour, Ostentation and Allegory

Peacocks are known to be aggressive. A London boxing gym is even named after the pugnacious bird. But peacocks are nothing to be scared of – they have appeared in art and fashion throughout the ages. In China, peacocks are a manifestation of the mythical phoenix and linked to fame, luck, divinity, rank power and beauty: […]

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Body Shape: Food, Fetishism and Fashion

No one bats an eyelid if you mention bums, boobs, or any other ‘b’ words describing ‘sexualized’ parts of the anatomy today. It was different in Victorian times, which is why the word bustle was invented. Victorians were as obsessed with their bodies as we are now. Women wore bustles with corsets to fill out the rump […]

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Textile Conservation for V and A’s The Fabric of India Exhibition

Billed as the highlight of the V&A’s India Season, The Fabric of India will be the first major exhibition to explore the dynamic and multifaceted world of handmade Indian textiles from the 3rd to the 21st century. The show will feature over 200 pieces including an 18th century tent, ceremonial and religious cloths, textiles created for […]

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What is Luxury? Being an Outsider

Luxury is ubiquitous, craft has been commodified and, according to Peter York, “authenticity is a con.” When luxury is no longer luxurious and limited editions can be purchased at Primark, only ultra-luxury will do. This means finding something that no one else can have, or afford – be it bespoke, vintage or antique – perhaps a pair […]

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