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  • Faye Toogood, The Cloakroom installation at the V&A, London. Photo © Ed Reeve

  • Faye Toogood, The Cloakroom installation at the V&A, London. Photo © Ed Reeve

  • Faye Toogood, The Cloakroom installation at the V&A, London. Photo © Ed Reeve

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“The Cloakroom” installation at the V&A Museum

Coinciding with the London Design Festival 2015, the Victoria and Albert Museum has commissioned British designer Faye Toogood, known for her minimal furniture designs, to create a special, two part installation, titled “The Cloakroom”. The first part of the installation is a unique coatroom, located in the museum’s Gallery 55, where visitors can borrow one of Toogood’s 150 oversized coats that are placed in a circular rail. The almost identical coats are made from a compressed foam material that was invented by Danish textile company Kvadrat, with each one bearing a different character face painted on the back. The coats evoke lab uniforms, while their seams are hand-painted with black silicone. “We chose this fabric because it’s a very sculptural fabric and it takes on the pattern very well,” Faye Toogood told Dezeen magazine. “Even on the hangers it has a 3D quality to it.

The coats were designed in collaboration with Erica Toogood, Faye’s sister who specializes in pattern cutting, using the Oil Rigger pattern from their Toogood unisex clothing line. Inside each coat is placed a sewn-in map of the museum, with a root conceived by Faye Toogood. The maps guide visitors to the second part of the installation: ten hidden spots that feature a series of specially commissioned sculptural coats. The sculptures are created from different materials, among them wood, marble and studded rubber, opening a dialogue with the museum’s galleries. Toogood was inspired by the rich history of the museum, as well as the trade and manufacturing of its pieces, revisiting and deconstructing specific themes. A delicately carved marble coat is inspired by V&A’s lobby; a wood coat resembles the paneling of one of the museum’s walls; while a shapely coat covered with metal rivets looks like an old armor. The Cloakroom will remain on view until September 27, 2015, at V&A’s Clore Study Room.