“‘Our collaboration with Bethany Williams London has been the most beautiful, generous and creative thing that we could have ever dreamt of. It has got the voice of our mums and minis in to places we would never dream of – the catwalks of London Fashion Week, the pages of Vogue, the Design Museum, and now the permanent collection of the Young V&A. Graphics were created in collaboration with artist Melissa Kitty Jarram in the depth of lockdown through zoom meetings where mums and minis drew each other. You can see their likenesses in the fabrics” – Jane Williams, CEO and Founder of The Magpie Project
This weekend the newly re-named Young V&A (previously the Museum of Childhood) opened its doors to the public, boasting refreshed collections and displays. The Young V&A is a free national museum located in Bethnal Green with displays, collections, and interactive spaces, co-designed with children and young people, that explore the creativity and experiences of children. This revamped Young V&A titles itself a ‘doing museum’ with sensory playscapes, imagination playground construction zone, performance and story stage and design studio for all ages to get stuck in and enjoy!
The Young V&A showcases 2,000 objects relating to art, design, and performance including two sets of mother and child outfits and lunchbox inspired handbag designed and created by Bethany Williams. Bethany Williams is a fashion designer, humanitarian and artist, creating cutting-edge fashion with ethnical manufacturing and social responsibility. She gives textiles a second chance through refashioning whilst working with social projects and communities to create her garments, as well as giving a percentage of her profits to charity.
For her ‘All Our Children’ Spring/Summer 2021 collection of outfits for mothers and children in collaboration with us at the Magpie Project, Bethany took inspiration from the V&A children’s archives, in particular the skeleton suit and a Boy’s first suit, some of the first garments designed for play. This inspiration is evident in her creation of a tailored skeleton suit and the flounced dresses and pantalettes shown below.
A predominant theme across the Young V&A, Bethany Williams and The Magpie Project is an emphasis on play, creativity, co-creation and design between children and adults. #Allourchildren are all our responsibility; and deserving of environments that foster safety, love, joy and creativity. We hope you visit the Young V&A and enjoy viewing and interacting with our collaboration with Bethany Williams.