British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age surveys 60 years of the best design from practitioners born, trained or practicing in the UK. Curators had the daunting task of encapsulating a period of prolific innovation and social change in just 300 objects.
Their choices are as evocative as they are recognisable. Alongside the 1961 Jaguar E-Type, Terence Conran vessels, a model of the Gherkin and important chair upon important chair are trophies from Britain’s fashion history. A Hussein Chalayan LED dress, Mary Quant mini-dresses and Alexander McQueen’s red houndstooth gown from the AW09 Horn of Plenty collection all make appearances, as does a hothouse flower of a hat by Philip Treacy.
The designer’s ‘Orchid’ design will enter the V&A’s permanent collection after the exhibition closes in August. Treacy stopped by to supervise the hat’s installation and discuss its background with curators ahead of the opening this Saturday.
‘I'm delighted that the V&A has acquired one of my orchid hats for the permanent collection and honoured it is part of the British Design exhibition,’ he said.
Visit British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age at the V&A from 31 March to 12 August 2012
Philip Treacy positions his Orchid hat at the V&A
Another version of the Orchid hat in action