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Published: 21 April 2018

By Andy Ross

Clothing and nature

This week, the Prime Minister of New Zealand met the Queen. What does this have in common with the V&A Museum?

The Prime Minister met Queen Elizabeth at the Commonwealth Summit, and wore a beautiful Maori cloak, a korowai,  for the occasion. The garment is painstakingly woven with feathers and is a big status symbol and an important part of Maori culture. This korowai was given to Jacinda Ardern specifically for the Summit but many are passed down through generations, gathering memories, traditions and a history of their own. The Queen has a korowai too; kept in New Zealand it is used for the monarch's visits to the country. This meeting has New Zealanders positively glowing with pride because of the cloak!

And the link with the V&A? Well, the Museum has an exhibition at the moment called Fashioned from Nature which is all about the processes and materials used in making clothing and the effect on the planet that this has had in the past, and currently. It is an appropriate and timely show because of the questions people are asking about the way we use and consume resources with fashion being a major contributor to waste and pollution. You can read more and see the exhibition here. It is on until 27th January 2019.