Tag Archives: V&A Museum

Design: Costume History Behind ‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ (V&A Museum)

Victoria and Albert Museum (January 24, 2023) – Moulin Rouge! The Musical is a spectacle of romance and cabaret, set in the heart of Paris’ bohemian scene during the Belle Époque era. Bringing Baz Luhrmann’s landmark film to life on stage, the production is a musical mash-up extravaganza, immersing you in a world of splendour and glory.

Video timeline: 00:00 Catherine Zuber’s design process 0:29 What is Moulin Rouge! The Musical? 00:49 Was the Moulin Rouge real? 01:05 Adapting Baz Luhrmann’s film 01:23 Creating a costume for Satine – design sketches 02:17 Researching the history of showgirls 02:49 How does the costume work? 03:53 Designing costumes for theatre 04:12 Mounting and installing the costume in the Re:Imagining Musicals display

Join Costume Designer Catherine Zuber and Curator Harriet Reed as they take us behind the scenes, introducing the real Moulin Rouge and showgirls of the time, showing the original design sketches for Satine’s dazzling diamond studded costume, and demonstrating how one vital mechanism is crucial for the piece’s quick change on stage.

The costume is now in the V&A’s collection of Theatre and Performance and can be seen as part of the Re:Imagining Musicals display until November 2023.

Profiles: British Artist Aimee Lax (V&A Museum)

Aimee Lax is an artist whose work examines the fragility and strength of the natural world, showing how it can be simultaneously threatening and beautiful. During her residency she has focussed on the question of the Anthropocene, looking at the burial of nuclear waste and the strange morphological effects on organisms in areas exposed to nuclear radiation. Creating works which convey a sense of otherworldliness and the uncanny, she uses clay to illustrate the dangers of the past, present and future. Engaging Ceramics Artist in Residence October 2019 – July 2020.

Artistry: Making ‘Hikihaku Obi’ Textile In Japan (Video)

Nishijin-ori textiles are known for their exquisite detail, and have been made in the Nishijin area of Kyoto, Japan for over 1,200 years. Follow the intricate process involved in creating obi (the sash worn with traditional Japanese clothing), using a specialised technique called hikikaku – weaving with precious metallic thread. From the making of the thread itself, to the weaving on the loom, watch as three obis are made – one from 100-year-old silver foil, one from mother of pearl, and one from the semi-precious stone, lapis lazuli.

Processes: Silver foil obi: 1:26​ Mother of pearl obi: 4:17​ Lapis lazuli obi: 6:35

Nishijin-ori (西陣織, Nishijin fabric) is a traditional textile produced in the Nishijin (西陣) district of Kamigyō-ku in KyotoJapan.

Originating in Heian-kyōto over 1200 years ago, Nishijin weaving is known for its highly-decorative and finely-woven designs, created through the use of tedious and specialised production processes. It is well-regarded for the high quality and craftsmanship of the resulting fabrics, commonly used for high-quality obi and kimono.

The Arts: ‘Water Gilding – How It Is Done’ (V&A Video)

Water gilding is a process which makes wood look like gold. Follow the stages involved in gilding a wooden frame – from brushing on layers of gesso (glue and chalk mixture), to applying and burnishing the gold leaf.

How to make a gilded frame: Glue applied to wood: 00:27​ Gesso mixed and applied in layers: 00:34​ Gesso smoothed with dried horsetail plant: 00:46​ Details cut into the base: 00:58​ Yellow ochre pigment applied: 01:07​ Bole applied: 01:20​ Surface is smoothed with a brush: 01:29​ Water is brushed on and gold leaf is applied: 01:56​ An animal tooth is used to burnish the surface: 02:15​ Frame is coated with glue for an even finish: 02:33

Literature: ‘Printing And Binding A Book’ (Video)

Discover the stages involved in creating a hand-printed and hand-bound book. This is an example of octavo size, meaning it’s made up of pages that were printed eight to a sheet of paper.

Video timeline: Process at the printers: Arranging metal letters: 00:09​ Preparing type: 00:25​ Applying ink to the type: 00:32​ Pressing paper onto the inked type: 00:40​ Process at the binders: Sheets folded and cut: 01:07​ Folds hammered: 01:24​ Sheets sewn onto bands: 01:28​ Rounding the spine: 01:43​ Attaching cover boards: 01:56​ Clamping the book and trimming pages: 02:20​ Endbands sewn: 02:29​ Leather cover stuck on: 02:41​ Decoration added with hot metal tools: 03:11

Fashion: ‘Making A Mulberry Bag’ (Video)

Bag making is a complex process. From creative sketches and precise technical drawings, to prototypes and catwalk shows, every stage requires careful thought. Historically and globally, bags have been constructed and embellished in an enormous variety of ways.

Originally hand-stitched at home or crafted in small workshops, today’s mass-produced bags are assembled in factories. Each procedure requires special skills, from pattern-making, cutting and dyeing, to sewing, polishing and finishing.

Take a look behind-the-scenes at Mulberry with Development Team Leader, Alice Gouldbourne to discover more about the precision and technical skill required to produce each one of their iconic bags. Find out more: vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/bags

Art History: ‘Watercolor In The Renaissance’ (Video)

Focussing on the three types of object featured in the V&A display Renaissance Watercolours: illuminated manuscripts, portrait miniatures and coloured drawings, this film showcases the qualities that made watercolour the medium of choice for many artists during the Renaissance.

A modern-day painting of a pomegranate, using traditional watercolour techniques, by artist Lucy Smith, also demonstrates how watercolour painting remains a versatile medium, ideal for capturing life-like details that help us to record our diverse world.

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Ancient Arts: ‘Lost-Wax Bronze Casting’ (Video)

See the process involved in casting a bronze figure – from the creation of a wax model through to the final sculpture. Find out more about sculpture: https://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/scu…