London has been abuzz with the newest and grandest opening at the V&A Museum this month – The Fabric of India – the first major exhibition to explore the dynamic and multifaceted world of handmade textiles from India from the 3rd to the 21st century.
A succession of celebrations have marked the opening of the exhibition and on Monday I attended a cocktail event by the exhibition’s sponsor – Good Earth – one of my favourite homeware stores in Mumbai. Outside it was Monsoon season – raining as usual in London but inside the V&A, palm trees, garlands of jasmine and rich accents transported us to Mughal India.
Invitees were given the opportunity to preview The Fabric of India exhibition after dark.
The exhibition provides an in-depth insight into the rich diversity of handmade Indian textiles. featuring a huge range of textiles, from embroidered jackets, wall-hangings and wedding ensembles to bold sari designs. It explores raw materials through to making processes and cutting-edge design.
Displays span an enormous 18th Century Tent (or portable palace) of Tipu Sultan, shreds of ancient block-prints dated from the 3rd century (!) and glittering borders of a dress found in 1850 adorned in hundreds of iridescent emerald-green wing cases from the jewel beetle.
Contemporary pieces show-off India’s couturiers – Manish Arora’s bubblegum hued embellished pieces sit alongside Bollywood artistry – on display is a heavily embroidered gold silk and mirror work dress from the 2002 film Devdas, the most expensive Hindi cinema production of its time.
The Fabric of India
The V&A Museum
3rd October 2015 – 10th January 2016
Author: Rohini Wahi
Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.
She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at email@example.com