Sunday, 25 April 2010
Fashion standing still
I visited the Fashion section at the Victoria and Albert Museum; another example of making fashion static. It was set out as a timeline, taking pieces of clothing from each era and displaying them chronologically around the room. To be honest, I don't think garments, especially those as beautiful as the collection in the V&A, should be kept on a still mannequin, behind a glass panel. The dim lighting and the grey walls in the gallery seemed to me to take the grandeur out of most of the clothes, especially Vivienne Westwood's 'Watteau' evening gown. I don't think the clothes can be enjoyed for what they are when they are displayed in a gallery; you can't feel the material, you can't see how it moves and fits on a living model and you can't examine the way it is made. I do agree that a lot of these garments are works of art and pieces of fashion history but it seemed somewhat unnatural to see them so still. However, i guess that in another way, this sort of display does mean that the garments are really standing on their own, and can be appreciated for the works of art they are, rather than being styled to look good with the right model, or in a styled photoshoot.