August 31 2014

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the v & a’s child’s play


The V&A’s Museum of Childhood is in the East London neighborhood of Bethnal Green, which may explain why it doesn’t get the sort of foot traffic the Kensington mother ship attracts. But it’s worth the trek, if only because it has the largest historical collection of children’s clothes in the U.K., a treasure trove that’s just been put on prominent display in Top to Toe: Fashion for Kids. The exhibit is a walk through 250 years of kinder clothes, and it explains a lot along the way. Like just what a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit was and why wooden sandals were a staple during World War II, when leather and cloth were scarce. And if you want to make your visit personal, you can upload a photo of yourself as a child in some dodgy outfit onto the museum’s Web site—seventies polyester, anyone? But be forewarned: Once it’s up, you can’t take it down.

Photo: Courtesy of the V&A

Dept. of Culture