VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM
There were very few things I wanted to do in England (besides the Carnival) and the Victoria and Albert Museum was right at the top of my list.
I love clothing and, of course, shoes ... not so much to spend my life shopping but its origins and the role it's played over time and the V&A is a great place to get an insight into this.
But the V&A is more than clothing and shoes ... just look at the photos to get the vaguest insight into what it has!
Clothing and shoes.
There was such a range of clothing and shoes ... ranging from a smock from the early 1600s through to modern day.
But what I really went to see was the 1800s, especially the Regency. I still want to make a dress from this period and I was really interested to look more closely at the construction of clothing and try to make something as 'period accurate' as possible given our very different ways of making things.
These patent leather crazies from the 70s or 80s were gorgeous.
Some information about the next dress ... by the famous Charles Worth.
The rear of a dress from the 1800s ... fantastic workmanship and the cream satin! I'd love a dress in this fabric.
The bustles of the 1880s aren't my cup of tea, but the workmanship is still brilliant.
This is getting closer to my favourite period ... but I love the new fabrics being made in the UK by this time, and just look at the pleating that went into the construction of this dress.
It's amazing to believe the pintucks on this dress are handmade. I also know this dress must be from around the 1830s ... check out the lowering waistline.
A sac dress from the later 1700s ... again a sumptuous satin.
The background to the next dress ... a beautiful gauze wedding gown with a satin collar.
The front of the gauze wedding gown.
Another shoe ... shoes during this period were made for either foot and it's easy to see how from this style.
A gorgeous Mary Jane from the 1920s ... I'd buy this today if I saw it in a store.
The background to the next dress ... one that should be known to most people.
This dress is so famous, but not really my style.
The background to the next dress ... by Mary Quant.
I love this crazy dress ... and the colour is so me.
I had to get a close up of the construction of this dress ... and the beautiful fabric.
And some information about the dress ... and the period it comes from.
This is more like it ... the clothing from the Regency period. And this dress is absolutely beautiful.
And a close up of the decoration on the bodice.
This time a man's costume from India ... made from similar fabric seen in Europe (because it was imported from there) and equally as complex in construction and well made.
A beautiful satin wedding dress from around the 1830s.
Now we're back in my favourite period ... the Regency.
And a close up of the pin tucks on the sleeve.
The rear of this sumptuous satin gown ... its construction of amazing, as is the fabric.
And the oldest thing I saw was this ... an embroidered women's smock from the 1630s.
And there's more!
I was equally impressed with all the other stuff at the V&A, including the textiles and furniture by William Morris and his contemporaries ... also one of the reasons why I wanted to visit the V&A.
This status was so imposing ... but I can't remember who it's of.
This was one of the many funeral related objects ... so beautiful.
This has to have stolen from somewhere in the Middle East. It was absolutely huge and sitting in a huge open area with no context whatsoever ... it was next to something church related. But it was so amazingly carved.
A small carved ivory piece ... this was no more than about 4in x 6in.
A part of a display of cameo and other jewellery ... I would love one of the old cameos.
This was next to the tall, carved thing ... there just wasn't enough information to properly understand where these things came from and their purpose.
A copy of Michelangelo's statue of David.
Both sides of a corridor were filled with this exquisite metal work ... one of my highlights to the V&A (outside the clothing and shoes!).
The Hereford Screen was dismantled and relocated to the V&A ... and was huge.
I couldn't get the whole screen because of its size so this is one of the corners.
And another close up of the top of the screen.
One of the many metal toys in cabinets in the museum. These little cars were so sweet.
This baby's dress was made by hand and actually exhibited at the Crystal Palace, which held the Great Exhibition of 1851 in Hyde Park. The workmanship was absolutely exquisite.
A picture of me taking a photo of one of the rooms reassembled at the V&A. This one was cream and gold and I can't imagine what it must have been like to live in homes like this.
And lucky last is the pretty carved relief, probably from a building ... I'd love this on my wall at home.