Patchwork – Claire Wilcox

Patchwork – A Life Amongst Clothes – Clare Wilcox

I have had this book on my Kindle for quite some time, but I am making a concerted effort to read some of my digital pile. My Kindle is easy to take around with me, so I don’t know why it has taken me so long to read it.

Here’s the blurb

An expert and intimate exploration of a life in clothes: their memories and stories, enchantments and spells.

A linen sheet, smooth with age. A box of buttons, mother-of-pearl and plastic, metal and glass, rattling and untethered. A hundred-year-old pin, forgotten in a hem. Fragile silks and fugitive dyes, fans and crinolines, and the faint mark on leather from a buckle now lost.

Claire Wilcox has worked as a curator in Fashion at the Victoria & Albert Museum for most of her working life. Down cool, dark corridors and in quiet store rooms, she and her colleagues care for, catalogue and conserve clothes centuries old, the inscrutable remnants of lives long lost to history; the commonplace or remarkable things that survive the bodies they once encircled or adorned.

In Patch Work, Wilcox deftly stitches together her dedicated study of fashion with the story of her own life lived in and through clothes. From her mother’s black wedding suit to the swirling patterns of her own silk kimono, her memoir unfolds in luminous prose the spellbinding power of the things we wear: their stories, their secrets, their power to transform and disguise and acts as portals to our pasts; the ways in which they measure out our lives, our gains and losses, and the ways we use them to write our stories.

This book is a memoir told in terms of textiles. Musings about various events in her life – both personal and professional. The writing is beautiful and the chapters are the perfect length (I kept thinking just one more).

A Youtube of an interview with Claire Wilcox.

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Filed under 4, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Recommended

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