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Fashioned from Nature: This new V&A exhibition will explore sustainable fashion

Fashioned from Nature

Image credit: Elbow length cape of curled feathers stitched to cotton made by Auguste Champot France ca 1895 (c) Victoria and Albert Museum

Fashion and its impact on the earth is probably one of the most talked about topics. How do we create garments that take less from the environment? Well, a new exhibition that is opening at London’s V&A museum plans to explore this issue. Fashioned from Nature will trace the complex relationship between fashion and the natural world, looking back as far as 1600.

Opening next year in April 2018, the exhibition will look at everything from recycling and reusing fabrics, to developing new sustainable alternatives to the materials we are currently using. And visitors will get to see in action the garments that propose this new way. There will be garments from key designers, who are at the forefront of the designer luxury sustainability conversation, such as Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood. The exhibition will also look at how what we deem to be waste can be reused to create amazing designs. Emma Watson’s Calvin Klein dress made from recycled plastic bottles will be on show, as well as grape waste from the wine industry to form a leather-substitute.

Fashion history will be explored too, looking at the fashion relationship with nature throughout each decade. One of the most noteworthy pieces in the exhibition will be a women’s jacket from the early 1600s, which is intricately embroidered with designs of pea-shoots and flowers, proving that designers have long been influenced by Greenery.

With the first ever Green Carpet Fashion Awards being held by Livia Firth this year, and Gucci’s announcement to go fur-free, this fashion industry is more concerned than ever with sustainability, so there couldn’t be a better time for this exhibition.

Fashioned from Nature will run from 21 April 2018 – 27 Jan 2019 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

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