Get ready to geek out: the V&A is about to open its new Clothworkers Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion, a huge archive packed full of beautiful designer pieces and textiles. And we paid a visit this morning.
The Centre is housed in the former Post Office Savings Bank on Londons Blythe Road, a huge Victorian building thats been renovated and restored by architects extraordinaire, Haworth Tompkins. Spread across four floors, its home to conservation studios, study rooms and an impressive 104,000 objects. Its the first time that theyve all been housed in one easy to access space.
The Centre is part archive, part textiles hospital. In one of the conservation rooms this morning the team were piecing together the beading on a beautiful silk gown designed by original couturier, Charles Worth. The museum is considering mounting an exhibition dedicated to the designer in 2017 and is working through its archives to see what work need to be done on the pieces it owns. The dress laid out on a table this morning will take 200 hours of work to restore and 4000 hours will be put into the collection as a whole. Fast work it is not.
But the star attraction is the football pitch sized room lined with storage units. Ancient religious robes? Here. Beautifully embroidered carpets and tapestries? Here. Corsets and crinolines, handbags and shoes and designer pieces by Schiaparelli and Vionnet and Jonathan Saunders and Lanvin are carefully preserved in there. Its a treasure trove. The most del More