Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from Dr Ruth Weeks, Headmistress

Fashioned from Nature: visit to the V&A Museum

22 June 2018

On Wednesday 20 June, Mrs Mooney and five GCSE and A Level Textiles students caught the train to London to visit ‘Fashioned from Nature’, a current exhibition at the V&A Museum in South Kensington.

The exhibition was fascinating and underpinned a variety of topics studied in both qualifications. Spread over two floors and organised chronologically, the objects displayed revealed how natural and later man-made fibres and materials have had a lasting influence on fashion. Sometimes quite harrowing, it exposed customs and fashions such as the use of whalebone, sourced with no consideration of animal cruelty, to the use of feathers in the nineteenth century which almost caused the extinction of a variety of species of bird.

As the story unfolded, it was clear to see how the introduction of man-made fibres had also had a devastating impact on the natural world. From the now well-documented pollution of the seas to the effect on global warming, our love of textiles and fashion has had a lasting effect on our planet. However, the determination by so many designers to reduce pollution and waste was clearly apparent. From the Calvin Klein dress worn at the Met Gala in 2016 by Emma Watson made from recycled plastic bottles, to ground breaking fabrics made from a bi-product of the wine industry, the exhibition demonstrated the diverse and extraordinary extent to which ground-breaking developments are allowing us to continue with our love of fashion as well as looking after the fragile planet we call home.  

Madeline Raiman and Mia Fowler

 

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