Visitors to the V&A during the London Design Festival are transformed into temporary custodians via Faye Toogood’s two-part installation, The Cloakroom. The first part of the experience is a literal cloakroom, located in Room 55, where visitors are invited to check out one of 150 Toogood coats to wear around the Museum. Each coat is equipped with a sewn-in map that guides the visitor through the second part of the installation: ten places in the Museum galleries, where they will discover a series of sculptural garments created by Toogood in response to nearby objects from the Museum’s collection – from a 15th century timber-panelled room to a shining suit of armour.


The 150 navigational coats are based on the voluminous Oil Rigger coat, one of the first coats designed for the Toogood brand, which the designer runs with her pattern-cutter sister, Erica. The coats are made from Highfield by Kvadrat, a high-tech compressed-foam textile and each has been hand-treated to render it unique. The sculptural garments visitors discover during their journey are constructed from non-traditional fashion materials, including wood, fibreglass and metal, bridging the worlds of furniture design and fashion with which Toogood is engaged.

“These are ten of my favourite objects within the V&A, and I’ve responded to each object’s material, craftsmanship, or artisan maker,” says Toogood. “I want to take people on a journey of discovery through the depths of the Museum.”

The Cloakroom was created to the occasion of this year’s London Design Festival, which runs from 19 to 27 September 2015.

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all images © Ed Reeve