Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Not currently on display at the V&A
On short term loan out for exhibition

Portrait

Clutch Bag
1991 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

For well over three decades Vivienne Westwood, along with her one-time partner Malcolm McLaren, has been at the centre of British fashion and one of its most inventive and influential designers. Westwood’s career in fashion was galvanised by McLaren and together they launched memorable fashion moments, including Punk in the early 1970s and later their Pirates collection. McLaren and Westwood conducted a design relationship between 1971 and 1983. In 1990 and again in 1991 Vivienne Westwood was named British Designer of the Year; she has also received an OBE.

For this bag design Vivienne Westwood borrowed a detail from J.H. Fragonard's Swarm of Cherubs painting to create an ornate clutch. She reproduced the same detail on a raincoat in the classic style, making an eye-catching and spirit-lifting ensemble for wet weather.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Printed silk and plastic
Brief Description
Bag, printed silk, 'Portrait' by Vivienne Westwood, after JH Fragonard, Great Britain, 1991
Physical Description
Small clutch bag of printed silk with a cherub design, and with gold plasticised lining. Purse style.
Production typeMass produced
Gallery Label
  • Flat surfaces of bags provide an ideal 'canvas' to reproduce works of art. Here, Vivienne Westwood borrows a detail from J.H. Fragonard's painting. Swarm of Cherubs (about 1767) to create an eyecatching clutch bag. By taking fine art normally associated with the walls of galleries and applying it to an everyday accessory makes the work more accessible and immediate. V&A, Room 40, Bags: Inside Out. (12/2020)
  • Vivienne Westwood borrowed a detail from J.H. Fragonard's Swarm of Cherubs painting to create this ornate clutch bag. She reproduced the same detail on a raincoat in the classic style, making an eye-catching and spirit-lifting ensemble for wet weather.(1997)
Credit line
Given by the designer
Object history
Registered File number 1992/204.
Subject depicted
Summary
For well over three decades Vivienne Westwood, along with her one-time partner Malcolm McLaren, has been at the centre of British fashion and one of its most inventive and influential designers. Westwood’s career in fashion was galvanised by McLaren and together they launched memorable fashion moments, including Punk in the early 1970s and later their Pirates collection. McLaren and Westwood conducted a design relationship between 1971 and 1983. In 1990 and again in 1991 Vivienne Westwood was named British Designer of the Year; she has also received an OBE.



For this bag design Vivienne Westwood borrowed a detail from J.H. Fragonard's Swarm of Cherubs painting to create an ornate clutch. She reproduced the same detail on a raincoat in the classic style, making an eye-catching and spirit-lifting ensemble for wet weather.
Associated Object
Bibliographic Reference
De La Haye, Amy, ed. The Cutting Edge: 50 Years of British Fashion 1947-1997. London: V&A Publications, 1997. p. 125.
Collection
Accession Number
T.29-1992

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record createdSeptember 15, 2003
Record URL