The Victoria and Albert Museum has announced details for its upcoming Fashioned from Nature exhibition, on display from the 21st April 2018. 

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Cape of curled cockerel feathers, Auguste Champot, France, 1895. (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London. 

Fashioned from Nature will feature a pineapple fibre clutch-bag, Emma Watson’s Calvin Klein dress made from recycled plastic bottles and a cape of cockerel feathers among the three hundred objects on display as part of the V&A’s upcoming display it has been confirmed.

Tracing the complex relationship between fashion and nature since 1600, Fashioned from Nature will reveal how fashionable dress recurringly draws on the beauty and power of nature for inspiration.

The exhibition will include garments and accessories from Christian Dior, Dries van Noten and Philip Treacy to explore how fashion’s processes and constant demand for raw materials damage the environment, featuring campaigners and protest groups that have effectively highlighted this issue such as Fashion Revolution and Vivienne Westwood.

Fashioned from Nature will concentrate on the past 400 years of fashion history to understand how people can learn from fashion of the past, with some objects dating back to the early 1600’s.

Items on display will include an 1875 pair of earrings formed from the heads of two real creeper birds  and a 1860s muslin dress decorated with the iridescent green wing cases of hundreds of jewel beetles. They will be shown alongside natural history specimens to indicate the ways fashion has used animal materials in its designs and production.

Other objects on display include  posters, slogan clothes and artworks which reveal how protest movements have helped draw attention to the harmful side of fashion.

The exhibition also will offer up a range of solutions to reducing fashion’s impact on the environment from low water denim and using wild rubber to more conceptual and collaborative projects.

Fashioned from Nature will be on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum from the 21st April 2018 until the 27th January 2019. For more information visit: https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/fashioned-from-nature

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