Friday, 21 November 2008

Blythe House - V&A Archives

I visited Blythe House in Kensington Olympia where the V&A archives are kept, as well as items from the British Museum and also the Science Museum. I was shown the Art and Design section in which there were books and books of fabric samples, fashion forecasting books, photos, drawings etc. There were samples dating back to the 20's, however the ones that most interested me where the French fashion forecasting books from the 60's and 70's. Each page was beautifully illustrated, coloured, and full of detail. The illustrations helped to tell a story and describe the fabric sample that accompanied it. Although they were very retro looking they wouldn't have looked out of place in modern fashion illustration books. I was given a handout that explains the history behind the fashion forecasting company 'Presage'. "Presage is a highly professional fashion service which accurately forecasts fashion trends 20 months in advance. It was established in Paris in 1961. Presage is a comprehensive guide and working tool for all the fashion-related industries. Presage's presentation is never incidental. It is carefully studied for meaning and direction. This is achieved by the choice of both the quality and colour of the paper in its books, the ink used in printing, as well as the trends shown in the designs and their backgrounds. the most important advance colour is chosen for the various book covers, which change every season."

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