The victoria & albert museum

A love story — with clothes as heroes

On the weekly ‘opinions’ afternoons, the public would arrive with carefully wrapped parcels holding items to be identified, writes Claire Wilcox. Sometimes this was a length of Brussels lace, sometimes a gown that could be dated not just to the year but to the season, because the fashion then was known: Once, someone brought a box of medieval leather shoes and everyone was sent home while a specialist in protective clothing and mask was called in, in case they had come from a plague pit. She was talking of the textile department of the Victoria & Albert Museum, where she had been senior curator of fashion since 2004. Among exhibitions