If you have been looking for potential educational visits for your fashion and textiles students, then look no further. London is the ideal place to discover some of the most comprehensive collections of clothing that the world has to offer, and with museums and markets dotted all over the city, you will be spoilt for choice.
Here are some of the very best spots in London for educational visits. Your class can explore interesting exhibits both in museums and out in the streets, and uncover information about fashion influences through time.
The Victoria & Albert Museum
This museum boasts an immense range of textiles dating back over 5,000 years, making it one of the most extensive collections in the world. The exhibits give your students a chance to study a range of materials and techniques including weaving, printing and embroidery, and follow the story of how materials have been transformed over time into early pieces of fashion. There are also accessories on display, including shoes and hats, which give a greater representation of the evolution of fashion.
The Fashion and Textile Museum
Here your students will discover how fashion has adapted through time, from 1947 to today. There is no better place to appreciate modern designs than in this stylish and informative museum. Contemporary designers including Christian Dior, Vivienne Westwood and Balenciaga have pieces on show here (this acts as a huge incentive for a lot of students). In-depth descriptions also accompany the items â€“ extremely helpful for when your class are making notes.
The Museum of London
There is a huge array of clothing and textiles in this collection, dating back to the Tudor period. Most of the items have been collected with London in mind; for example, clothing that was made by manufacturers in London or garments that have been worn by the royal family. The aim of the exhibit is to embody the role that London has had in the fashion industry over time. It makes for fantastic educational visits for those studying the historical roots of clothing.
Portobello Road is a hub for unique and vintage antiques, including an amazing selection of clothes. Browse the stalls and find some truly unusual wearables that you are unlikely to find anywhere else. This is a brilliant opportunity for students to peruse varying styles, materials and eras, all in the authentic setting of a market.
Hitting its peak in the 1970s, Camden Town acted as an influential starting point for more alternative fashion. Students can experience the punk-rock aura that the markets still have today and find some truly unique designer labels. This is ideal for classes studying more modern eras in the industry.
To bring out that passion for fashion in your students, book with a specialised educational travel tour operator. They can organise the trip and make sure your class benefit as much as possible from each experience.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in educational visits for school and youth groups to the UK, Europe and beyond. As a father and avid traveller, John is very passionate about providing students with valuable and engaging learning experiences outside of the classroom. By sharing his expert advice with teachers, he allows them to inspire their students and bring their studies to life.
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