Wigs for The V&A Museum

Bound in Not bound but made in 2020
Private Collection

About the Project:
I was commissioned to make eleven wigs for the “Kimonos: Kyoto to Catwalk” exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum which ran from the 27th August 2020 to the 25th October 2020. The wigs for this exhibition were intended to be abstract and an impression of the silhouette, rather than incredibly detailed, so as not to distract too much from the costume displayed on the mannequins. When wigs are requested for mannequins, they are often made in house at the museum by the Textiles Conservation and Mounting Department, but due to restrictions on time they were outsourced on this occasion.

“This exhibition will present the kimono as a dynamic and constantly evolving icon of fashion, revealing the sartorial, aesthetic and social significance of the garment from the 1660s to the present day, both in Japan and the rest of the world.”

About:

  • The wigs were made to fit onto fibreglass mannequin heads.
  • Based on images of both traditional and some ‘film’ wigs, these were designed to add some more context to the mannequins in the exhibition. 
  • The wigs were constructed onto frames made of Rigiline boning.
  • They were made from tones of grey and black crinoline to match the colour of the mannequins so as not to distract from the wonderful bright Kimonos on display.

Design Description:

Amongst the eleven wigs I had to make for this project were: the subdued “Gibson Girl”; the elaborate “Courtesan”; an elegant “1930s”; two grand “Samurais”; along with some more modern “Memoirs of a Geisha” characters.

More details about the project as a whole and how I made the wigs can be read in a blog post here.

~ Nine of the eleven wigs I was commissioned to make for the “Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk” exhibition

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