Monday, November 17, 2014

London Highlights! Part III

In my previous post, I mentioned how incredible my visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum was.  The best part by far was an appointment-only visit to the Clothworkers' Centre, which houses the museum's archive of fashion and costume items.  In this space, you're faced with walls full of flat-file drawers, each holding a little treasure... evening gowns by famous 20th century designers, obscure corsets from around the world, textiles from Japan and India... You name it, they have it!

Not only was I able to take my time to individually study 8 complete lingerie looks, but I was allowed to measure, take notes, and photograph every tiny detail.  The exceptionally-helpful assistant curator aided me in holding up garments, opening them and making space for me to slip my camera inside little nooks between the seams.  Unfortunately due to their copyright policies, I'm not able to publicly distribute my personal photographs.

But we're in luck, because the V&A is meticulous about documenting their garments to share on the internet.  So without further ado... Here is what I studied in London!  (All photos courtesy of the V&A website.)  Click each link for more information and photos of each garment.

T.179-1973.  A cotton camisole handmade by Queen Mary (!!) in 1890.


T.90-1928.  A 1905 wedding corset in silk satin (lined in organza) with bobbinette and lace detailing.


T.204&A-1982. 1940s printed rayon slip and matching tap pants.


T.93&A-1984.  Heavy cotton jersey corset with slits in bone casings for easy washing.


T.349&A-1975.  Early 1950s Balmain silk grosgrain dress with matching netted petticoat/bustier.


T.198 to B-1967.  Chemise, drawers, and camisole in cotton lawn (not all visible in this photo)


T.1-1973.  1913 nightdress by Lucile, featuring tiny pintucks in crinkle silk chiffon.


T.183&A-1967.  Late 1920s slip and pleated knickers in silk crepe-de-chine with tiny bound edges.



For those of you interested in seeing more of the collection at the V&A, visit their collections website where you can easily search, browse, and see thousands of pieces in the archives.  What a rabbit hole that website is!  :)

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