victoria and albert


Alexander McQueen – Savage Beauty

Although I might not look it, I am actually pretty fashion literate, in that I take more than a passing interest in the work of various designers, even if I will probably never be able to actually own anything that they make. As you might expect though, my tastes definitely lean more towards the gothic and historically inspired and so naturally have been a huge fan of Alexander McQueen’s gloriously romantic and at the same time boundary pushing work for a long time. I even felt like, out of all the designers, he was a bit of a kindred spirit […]


Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 exhibition at the V&A

‘This exhibition will trace the development of the fashionable white wedding dress and its treatment by key fashion designers such as Charles Frederick Worth, Norman Hartnell, Charles James, John Galliano, Christian Lacroix, Vivienne Westwood and Vera Wang offering a panorama of fashion over the last two centuries. On display will be the most romantic, glamorous and extravagant wedding dresses from the V&A’s superb collection and will include some important new acquisitions as well as loans including the purple dress worn by Dita Von Teese for her marriage to Marilyn Manson and the outfits worn by Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale […]


Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Wedding dress, Gladman & Womack (London), 1885. Photo: Victoria and Albert Museum, London. As I’ve said before, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the Victoria and Albert Museum BUT I think that even I might be tempted through their doors by the new upcoming exhibition about wedding dresses as I find a bit of bridal flounce almost impossible resist. Wedding dress, Paris, 1828. Photo: Victoria and Albert Museum, London. ‘Trace the eternal fashion of the wedding dress and discover the most romantic, glamorous and iconic dresses from the last 200 years. This magical exhibition highlights exceptional craftsmanship […]


Advent Calendar – Day Eight

Evening dress, R.H White and Co (Boston), American, 1885. Photo: Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute, New York. Behind the eighth window of my rather flamboyant advent calendar there lurks this rather gorgeous evening dress from 1885. I don’t know about you, but to my mind, this gown just SCREAMS Christmas – probably because of the oh so delightful combination of a fluffy feather trim and that elegantly draped wintry ice blue silk. I can just imagine a fashionable young Boston lady venturing out in this to go ice skating or take a snowy carriage ride with one of her […]


Pearls at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Portrait of Jeanne de Marigny, attributed to Charles (1604-92) and Henri Beaubrun (1603-77), Paris, about 1650-60, oil on canvas. Photo: Victoria and Albert Museum, London. As long term readers may remember, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the Victoria and Albert Museum – love, because they really do have a superb collection and hate because their curators can be kind of rude, they never reply to my emails about pieces in the collection and the building itself always seems really badly organised to me. So that’s mostly hate really. Ah well. Anyway, it generally takes quite a […]


Magnificent Obsession

Queen Victoria was in mourning for her beloved Prince Albert for forty years between his death in December 1861 and her own in January 1901, a period that comprised the majority of her reign. It’s no surprise therefore that when most people are compelled to think of Queen Victoria, it is the black clad little widow that springs immediately to mind, with her prim expression, Indian diamonds around her plump throat and, possibly, what appears to be a lace tablecloth fastened to her iron grey hair. It’s sad really though – so pervasive is this popular imagining of Queen Victoria […]