The fall, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London is hosting an exhibition featuring centuries worth of textiles from India. Judging by the preview pictures available, it’s going to be gorgeous.

The exhibit aims to be a history of techniques, cultural significance and international trade combined. It encompasses third-century pieces and modern-day designer clothing alike, including—according to The Guardian—a stunning tent from the mid-1700s that’s as as elaborate as it is enormous. Hijacked by the British during their conquest of the subcontinent, of course. (Nor is it precisely a coincidence that so much Indian fabric ended up in the United Kingdom.)

WWD reports:

Using illustrated maps and archival footage, curators Divia Patel and Rosemary Crill guide their audience through a history of traditional manufacturing processes. They outline the cultural, religious and royal aspects of the textiles and their use by contemporary designers.

Part of their goal is to showcase origins of design elements that are now common in the Western world: “What we really want to do is expand their awareness and (know) that bandanna handkerchiefs or the paisley motif came from India,” Crill told WWD. You can read more background on the exhibit here. In the meantime, here’s a stunning Bollywood ensemble:

And wedding looks from hotshot Indian designer Sabyasachi.


Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.

Photos via Getty.