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V&A Bags (Accessories)

Claire Wilcox


An impeccably researched and beautifully produced concise history of bags through the ages, with examples drawn from the Victoria & Albert Museum's remarkable collection

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From the hand-stitched embroidered purses of the 16th century, to the ‘make-do-and-mend’ bags of the war years and the rise of the ‘It’ bag in the 2000s, bags reflect the needs and desires of their users, as well as the changing attitudes to fashion. Focusing on the V&A’s world-famous collection, Bags tells the story of the bag from the earliest leather pouches through to today’s covetable, luxury pieces.

Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 22.7 x 15.7 cm

Extent: 160 pp

Illustrations: 114

Publication date: 13 April 2017

ISBN: 9780500519370

Contents List

• Introduction • Chapter One: Girdle Pouches and Almoners: The 14th and 15th Centuries • Chapter Two: Pokes, Purses and Swete Bagges: The 16th and 17th Centuries • Chapter Three: Pockets, Purses and Work-bags: 1700–90 • Chapter Four: Reticules: 1790–1830 • Chapter Five: Bags, Purses and Châtelaines: 1830–80 • Chapter Six: The Handbag: 1880–1918 • Chapter Seven: Dance Bags, Clutches and ‘Make-do-and-Mend’: 1918–45 • Chapter Eight: The New Look, Shoulder Bags and Designer Handbags: 1945–2000 • Chapter Nine: Man Bags, Totes and Mini Bags: 2000s–The Present • Glossary • Selected Bibliography • Major Dress Collections Featuring Bags • Authors’ Biographies • Acknowledgments • Index

About the Author

Claire Wilcox is Senior Curator, Department of Furniture, Textiles and Fashion at the V&A and Professor in Fashion Curation, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London.

Elizabeth Currie is a lecturer and author specializing in fashion and textiles. She was formerly a research fellow at the Royal College of Art and an assistant curator in the Fashion, Textiles and Furniture Department of the V&A.

List of Contributors

Elizabeth Currie, Elizabeth Currie