Victoria and Albert Museum (Extra #1)

On Friday, July 24th, I made a return visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum to look at the architecture and fashion exhibits. The architecture exhibit is closely related to Research Paper topic on "Library as Place". On the fourth level of the Victoria and Albert Museum in rooms 127 and 128, there are architecture exhibits. One of the main themes was architecture in context. I think that this is important when we look at the design and location of some of the other libraries that we have visited on this trip.

The way that St. Pauls needed to have the traditional cross layout, regardless of what the architect thought, because of the church's political obligations. The Barbican Library was built in a neighborhood that was destroyed from the war and in a time when the British economy was too depressed to afford expensive building materials, which explains its austere or brutalist design that we see today.

There is a prominent feature on this floor on Trafalgar Square, including the significance of the battle and the military man that it commemorates, the symbolism of the lions and the role that the area has played throughout Britain's history. There were also several wooden models of important buildings that were eventually constructed around the world.

Bramante's Tempietto in Italy ( is a standard example of the classical design, and its wooden model is in the Victoria and Albert Museum protected by a glass case. There is also a wooden model of one of Christopher Wren's original designs for St. Paul's Cathedral.

The architecture section pays homage to the building art of the Far East. I hadnever learned much about the ornament and structures that go into japanes buildings, and this museum explains some Asian techniques, and provides some 3-D examples for us to see. Lastly, there is a long hallway that displays the sketches of the designs of famous British architects.

As much as I love my jaunt in the Architecture department, I had to take a detour into the fashion department to see what they had to offer. I went back down to the first floor and checked out the evolution of women's clothes. I could understand the Victorian dresses, but I was so surprised by the Juicy velour jogging suit. (

I guess I should not have been surprised because we are living history, the value of our modern things will grow over time, and I am grateful to the V&A for taking time to preserve it. The velour track suit also serves as a great benchmark of how far we've come and the direction we might be going. In the fashion showcase, there were suits, shoes and dresses from Vivienne Westwood, Chanel, and various other designers that I only know about from syndicated episodes of "Sex and the City". (
The entire fashion department reminded me of my parent's closet, because my mom's (womens) section occupied about three fourths of the collection while my dad (men) made do with what was left. I took a picture of this illustrated fashion wheel, because it represents how fashions go in and out of style in a cyclical manner.

The absolute best part of this museum was what I was able to take away from it. Not just my memories but the most amazing navy blue lace fashionista gloves that I found in the museum gift shop. Thank you Victoria and Albert Museum!

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