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The V&A is an invaluable resource for costume designers. I was fortunate to be able to look at some of the clothes in the Heather Firbank collection when I was researching for the first series of Downton Abbey - these were fine examples and particularly relevant. Susannah Buxton- EMMY award-winning costume designer for Downton Abbey (Series 1 & 2) Over 80 years ago- Heather Firbank packed away her extensive collection of fine clothes- bought from Londons very best dressmakers and tailors. These treasures lay undiscovered for the next 30 years- until after her death- they were given to the V&A- laying the foundations for the Museums world-famous collection. Firbank was an enthusiastic shopper and bought her clothes from the worlds leading couture houses- including Lucile- Redfern and Mascotte- as well as private dressmakers and department stores. Her collection forms an invaluable record of fashionable Edwardian taste over a period of some 15 years. Beautifully illustrated with new photography of finely crafted evening gowns- tailored suits and glamorous hats- the book also features contemporary photographs and pages from Heathers own albums of fashion cuttings.It vividly maps out the London couture scene of Edwardian Britain- and charts changes in fashion through the tumultuous first decades of the twentieth century.Through the story of Heathers own life- both joyous and troubled- this book celebrates the central role of clothing in creating a single womans identity.... Please click here to ask a question
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