It is good to learn that the current management of the V&A want to reverse their predecessors’ lack of interest in Margaret Thatcher’s clothes. The museum’s original refusal showed a lack of imagination about how women have tried to gain greater power in a man’s world, and how clothes tell this story. Museums love to have suits of medieval armour. They reveal the amazing combination of defensive utility and elegant display which the age required. Even better if the armour was worn by a great warrior on a great occasion, like the Black Prince at Crecy.
Mrs Thatcher’s clothes were her armour on her fields of battle — in Parliament, on television, in Moscow, at her party conference after the Brighton bomb. They helped her win. I hope a generous donor will step forward to buy them for the nation at this late stage. If the V&A doesn’t take them, the clothes would look well in the Imperial War Museum.
This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Notes. The full article will be published tomorrow in The Spectator.