Fashion Retrospective x Victoria & Albert Museum

Wide dress, 1755-1760

Details of hat and shoe, 1755-1760

Day dress, 1869-1870

Details of coats and skirts, 1890

Coats, 1890

Lanvin silk chiffon with gilded kid leather dress, 1936

Tailored coat and skirt 1940-1960

Haute Couture Christian Dior, 1947-1960

Details, Christian Dior, 1947-1960

Rain Theme, 60's

The Revolution, 1960-1970

Reconstructing Fashion, 1975-1985

Sex Pistols "Anarchy in the UK", cover story, 1976

Contemporary Fashion 00's 

From the left: La Perla "Body Couture" body 2011, Kristofer Kane for Topshop mirror beads dress 2009, Giles Deacon digitally printed  dress 2014

Christian Louboutin "The Nude Collection", 2014

Christian Louboutin "The Nude Collection", 2014
Recently I visited one of the most popular museums of the british capital. Victoria and Albert Museum (named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert) has become one of the largest museums with collections of art, decoration, architecture and design, as well as religious art. With collections from China, Japan, India and an extensive british collection of everyday life and art and a remarkable jewellery collection (my personal favourite!), the museum hosts more than 4.5 million objects through 5000 years of history. Such a long time right? Note also that it is awarded as the Museum of 2016. 

The thing I noticed was the museum also hosts a retrospective regarding fashion history. Not what you expected to see, due to the fact that most people visualise museums full of paintings and sculptures.The collection is focused on the history of fashion and the norms as well as the styles of each decade starting ftom the early 20th century till our days with a particular interest to the british fashion trends. The retrospective includes dresses from the 1700's with fascinating embroidery, hats and delicate shoes. As we move on to the 10's and 20's, the forms and shapes become more minimal, focused on one colour and laces are the main theme. Later, 40's were all about tailoring to fit, with deux pieces of fine tweed and woolen fabrics. 

However, the pioneering statement in 40's till 60's was the New Look of Christian Dior. The visionary designer was one of those who introduced haute couture and made gowns custome made. Moreover, in 50's, the clothes were labeled with the date and the design number, some of these with the client's name as well. 

And we arrived in 60's! How amazing this decade was! Colours, extravagande patterns and hats allover! The 60's are referred as the revolution of fashion, as new patterns are introduced, as well as new materials, such as paper and plastic. Emillio Pucci showed the way with his psychedelic designs, perfect for the 60's mood! Don't forger the minis! 

On the other hand, 70's and 80's brought punk movement in London with Viviennne Westwood as their primary representative. Later on, designers such as John Galliano, Yohji Yamamoto and  Rei Kawakubo (under Commes de Garcons), started differentiating the silhouette standards with oversized and dark clothes. 

And as we arrived to the 90's, "stealth luxury" became dominant, as people stopped chasing labels and logos (was this statement ever actually true?) and prefered functionality and shapes to the body. And here we are, in the Internet era to control, accept and reject trends and styles. Customers find what they look for, instantly, without even think of going shopping! (but it's still a pleasure isn't it?).

Finally, don't forget to visit Christian Louboutin's "The Nude Collection" . How cool is to redefine the meaning of nude by having a nude pair of heels for every skin type and not refer to beige as the only nude colour? 

For those who finish early their shopping marathon in Oxford Street, this collection is a perfect alterantive to spend their afternoon!