14,765 book reviews and counting...

Books in the Media Update

This website is no longer being updated; theBookseller.com is the home of all books related-content and will continue to be updated with regular articles about books featured in the media. Thank you for using this website, and we hope you join us on theBookseller.com.

Patch Work Reviews

Patch Work by Claire Wilcox

Patch Work: A Life Amongst Clothes

Claire Wilcox

4.43 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication date: 12 Nov 2020
ISBN: 9781526614391

'I am overwhelmed by this book. It is an absolute masterpiece. A book of such beauty and profundity, of such poetry in its emotion and observation ... I found my sense of life transformed by her writing as I often find it transformed after the exhibition of a great artist' LAURA CUMMING

  • The BooksellerEditor's Choice
5 stars out of 5
Caroline Sanderson
14 Aug 2020

"She embues each item with such an extraordinarily evocative power; you can almost hear the rustling."

A linen sheet, smooth with age... A hundred-year-old pin, forgotten in a hem." Wilcox is senior curator of fashion at the V&A, where she has curated blockbuster exhibitions on the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. This is her gorgeously crafted memoir of a life lived through textiles, told in illustrated vignettes which take us from the childhood joys of night clothes and hiding in the airing cupboard, to a drawstring purse bought on the hippy trail. She embues each item with such an extraordinarily evocative power; you can almost hear the rustling.


4 stars out of 5
Jackie Annesley
15 Nov 2020

"Filled with dreamlike memories, this autobiography is both surprising and delightful"

Beyond fashion and the enviable depiction of the V&A as her office, Wilcox is at her most magical leading the reader through the museum of her family life. She peeks into a childhood memory of her mother stitching together a gingham bikini for her on a beach, then moves on to the drama of her infant daughter’s hospitalisation or the deathbed of her beloved “woollen-jumpered” father. The book brims with poetic quotes: her parents taught her that the “slow pull of death is part of life, and that love can last beyond the end”. 

4 stars out of 5
Anne de Courcy
7 Nov 2020

"Beautifully written, her book is a love story"

Beautifully written, her book is a love story, with clothes as much as people as its heroes, from the childhood frocks, wedding dress and a blue and white check bikini made by her mother to the dark blue suit her husband wore to get married in — she was in white linen — and, above all, to the Victoria & Albert Museum.