If rummaging around in your local Oxfam for an undiscovered fashion gem simply isn’t enough, then try delving into the V&A’s behind-the-scenes treasure trove of furniture, ceramics, jewellery, textiles and fashion, as part of The Concise Dictionary of Dress which is unveiled today.
Opening up the labyrinthine former industrial headquarters of the Post Office Savings Bank in Olympia, visitors will be led through a series of unexpected spaces revealing hidden aspects of the anatomy of the building, as trails are woven through the goods lift and textiles store room, into an old larder and a room full of weapons, deep into a basement coal bunker and rising to a cupola on the roof.
The tour will unravel threads of narrative, revealing images and objects through a sequence of walk-through definitions (such as Pretentious, pictured). Created from a mixture of clothing, accessories and specific installation pieces, these tableaux seek to explore aspects of anxiety and desire, which fashion curator Judith Clark has developed in conjunction with psychoanalyst Adam Phillips; you may well find lust and envy rank higher as a result.
Get your mitts on some tickets before the end of June, or you’ll be bare gutted.