Patch Work: A LIfe Amongst Clothes (Paperback)
  • Patch Work: A LIfe Amongst Clothes (Paperback)

Patch Work: A LIfe Amongst Clothes (Paperback)

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Paperback 288 Pages / Published: 27/05/2021
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Waterstones Says

Cloth, clothes and curating are transformed into fascinating vignettes of life in this beautifully composed memoir of the V&A’s custodian of fashion, Claire Wilcox.

Claire Wilcox has been a curator of fashion at the Victoria and Albert Museum for most of her working life. In Patch Work, she turns her curator's eye to the fabric of life itself, tugging at the threads of memory: a cardigan worn by a child, a tin button box, the draping of a curtain, a pair of cycling shorts, a roll of lace, a pin hidden in a seam.

Through these intimate and compelling close-ups, we see how the stories and the secrets of clothes measure out the passage of time, our gains and losses, and the way we use them to unravel and write our histories.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781526614414
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 238 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


'An uncommon delight' - Rachel Cooke, The Observer 

'I am overwhelmed by this book. It is an absolute masterpiece. - Laura Cumming, author of On Chapel Sands

'Patch Work is a unique memoir told in rich, tantalising fragments that made me look at what we all wear with new interest and respect' - Tracy Chevalier

'I couldn't put it down ... Pure delight' - Lara Maiklem, author of Mudlarking

'Into this tapestry of memories Wilcox weaves a melancholy thread ... The clothes are Proust's madeleines, cocooned in hatboxes and airing cupboards ... Gripping' - The Mail on Sunday 

'Effervescent, poetic, puzzle-like ... Wilcox picks at the heartstrings' - The Financial Times 

'Filled with dreamlike memories, this autobiography is both surprising and delightful ... A strange and mesmerising piece of work, one that tears apart the usual fabric of an autobiography' - The Sunday Times 

'In her beautifully written memoir Wilcox takes readers behind the scenes of life at the museum - while recounting the many ways that clothes have shaped her personal development in a series of lyrical vignettes' - Vogue

'An extraordinary mixture of museum work interleaved with memoir ... beautifully written, her book is a love story, with clothes as much as people as its heroes' - Spectator 

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“Disappointing ...”

The “blurb” about this book grabbed my attention – I enjoy memoirs, personal histories, “hidden stories” & the like so I was intrigued by the promise of stories told through a box of buttons, a forgotten pin in a... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 17

“Unique & beautiful, patched work joy”

The book is called Patch Work which is clearly a reference to the author’s work in the Fashion Department of the Victoria & Albert Museum. However, what is a delight in this book is that it has been written like a... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 17

“A Life in Patches”

This book illustrates exactly how creative nonfiction can be as effective as a traditional biography, if not more so, in the act of reflecting on one’s own life. In this innovative memoir, Claire Wilcox tells the... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 14

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