The Concise Dictionary of Dress

Photograph by Norbert Schoerner

Blythe House in London is the archive for the Victoria & Albert Museum’s extensive collections of fashion and textile, furniture, ceramics, jewellery and fine arts. It is within this incredible building, usually closed to the public, that the fashion curator Judith Clark and psychoanalyst Adam Phillips created ‘The Concise Dictionary of Dress’. The exhibition consisted of a guided tour through the building in a small group passing by various installations, designed and assembled by Clark and accompanied by definitions created by Phillips. This awe-inspiring archive creates a unique atmosphere that aroused curiosity and allowed the visitor to lose themselves in this maze of hallways lined by cabinets and rooms filled with movable storage units. The installations emerged from unexpected places, subtly drawing on associations to the stored objects surrounding them. This exhibition provided a unique experience, which redefined the way one perceives the presence and absence of the body and clothing and challenged the boundary between the  stored/preserved object and the displayed. You can find more information at

Here is a short trailer that gives a preview of the exhibition.



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