Before the iPad Cover
The long, narrow shape of this chintz drawstring bag, above, looks a little like a laundry bag I used to have hanging in my dorm room (although the amazing print suggests Max's dorm), but the sack was actually made to hold 18th or 19th century manuscripts. Part of the V & A's collection, the Indian cloth was painted and and resist-dyed. The museum notes that the main design is in the style of export chintz created for the Western market, yet the smaller floral patterned border and triangular forms are very much in keeping with Southeast Asian taste.
Maybe someone will use the bag as a jumping off point for new museum merchandise. Yohji Yamamoto recently did something like that. In conjunction with the V & A's site-specific retrospective of his work, he recently designed an assortment of floral bags for the museum's shop. As reported by Vogue, part of the fashion designer's inspiration came from the V & A's vast textile collection (specifically English cotton chintz and a furnishing fabric by John James Audubon, according to the museum) but the bag's utilitarian form is Japanese.
In other textile news, look for an addition to the V & A's great pattern series, Spitalfields Silks, out in June. As usual, a free CD-Rom of designs will be included.
Related past posts:
The Leman Album
The Garrick Bed