Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams Exhibition at V&A Museum – London

Last week I saw the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition at the V&A Museum, London. It had been a long time coming and I was not disappointed. From the moment I entered the exhibition it was a thrill to see all the wonderful creations. I had mainly only seen them in fashion photographs and film footage. I was particularly interested in early Dior, from his childhood up until his untimely death in 1957.

The V&A walked us through the collection beautifully, every room was a delight to see. With a wealth of creativity from the great man himself, and his subsequent creative successors at the House of Dior.

It was a privilege and an honour to see many Dior masterpieces in one space. There were over 200 rare couture garments on show, along with accessories, photographs, film, vintage perfumes, original makeup, illustrations, magazines and possessions from Christian Dior’s personal collection.

The Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition made history as the most-visited V&A exhibition. It attracted a record 594,994 visitors during its run from February 2nd to September 1st, this year. For a brand that started in 1947, Dior shows no sign of slowing down, and I look forward to many more years of excellence.

Mary Quant Exhibition – V&A Museum, London

I have always loved Mary Quant’s fashion and style, since learning about her, when I studied at The London College of Fashion. So you can imagine how delighted I was at the V&A Museum‘s announcement of the Mary Quant exhibition.

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It was a real treat for me to see her wonderful creations from those early days and how the company developed. The groundbreaking designs and the colours were all so great to see in person.

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As you enter the exhibition the V&A have done a great job in walking you through. With two floors of Quant designs, along with films about the era. You cannot help to be amazed at the wealth of her designs on show. As well as the accessories and makeup that were produced by the brand.

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A must-see exhibition if you are as fascinated by Mary Quant and the 60s era as I am, you will not be disappointed.

T Shirt: Cult – Culture – Subversion – Exhibition Review – London

The Exhibition looks at the significance of the T-shirt and charts the journey of the T-shirt through the 2oth Century. It explores its various roles: as a symbol of rebellion, as an undergarment underneath formal shirts, and of course, as a carrier of slogans. There are examples from environmental organisations, punk-era slogans and good old propaganda.

T-Shirt Line Up 2

Westwood God Save Shirt

I particularly enjoyed seeing Vivienne Westwood’s and Malcolm Maclaren’s private collection. From the early days of the Let it Rock, Sex, and Seditionaries era, her famous classic piece like the ‘God Save the Queen’ Sex Pistols T-shirt, to the more political shirts emblazoned with slogans like ‘Climate Revolution’, worn on the catwalk by Westwood. The exhibition is predominately about political statements, which have over the years been printed on cotton, including today. Also fascinating to see was the Biba shirt, the Choose Life shirt and the Live Aid shirt.

Westwood Shirt

Westwood Let It Rock

 

Featuring more than 100 cotton T-shirts and covering a period of 70 years, it works its way through 12 thematic categories, which focus on topics such as protest, concert culture, ecology, and printing techniques, it traces the history of the popularisation of the T-shirt in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

Choose Life Shirt

T-Shirt Line Up 3

The exhibition ends on May 6th 2018, but well worth a visit if you can make it.

T-Shirt: Cult – Culture – Subversion is at Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XF.

Open – Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am–6pm
Thursdays until 8pm
Sundays, 11am–5pm
Last admission 45 minutes before closing
Closed Mondays

Tickets – Advance booking online is recommended but tickets may be purchased in person on the day of the visit, subject to availability
£9.90 adults* / £8.80 concessions* / £7 students *Includes 10% gift aid
Children under 12 are free.

Tel: 020 7407 8664

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My Generation Exhibition – London

I visited the My Generation exhibition on Carnaby Street – London. It was an exclusive exhibition in celebration of the film My Generation, which is presented and produced by Michael Caine. The film is told through the eyes of Caine who helped shape this remarkable era, viewers are taken on a vivid and inspirational journey through London in the 60s.

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Sasson and Quant

It was absolutely delighted to be up close to some of the most iconic photographs taken in the 60s. Showcased were photographs, prints and previously unseen archive footage. Featured were Twiggy, Roger Daltrey and The Who, Marianne Faithfull, Vidal Sassoon, Jean Shrimpton, Lulu, Paul McCartney and The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bailey, Sandie Shaw and Mary Quant alongside Michael Caine. Taken by photographers which include Terry O’Neill, Duffy and Barry Lategan. The stand out pieces included the infamous portrait of Christine Keeler, taken by Lewis Morley, mass crowd photographs highlighting the peak of Beatlemania as well as the first professional photo taken of Twiggy.

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Christine Keeler Chair

Twiggy

Unfortunately I was not around in the 60s to enjoy it first hand, but seeing the exhibition was really exciting and enjoyable.

Today the Carnaby area is home to global fashion brands that sit alongside independent stores and concept shops. It has a thriving food scene and is also home to live music venues and bars. It is a place to find experiential retail and many creative industries that give a nod to the spirit of the 60s generation.

 

 

 

 

 

THE WORLD OF ANNA SUI EXHIBITION 2017

Anna Sui Picture

I became aware or the fashion designer Anna Sui back in 2004, when I worked for a fragrance company. Since then I have been a big fan of her work, and to see an exhibition by her was an absolute delight. On at the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey, London. Her collection of clothes grabs you from the moment you walk in, with four separate outfits on display in the reception area. Which were all wonderfully detailed in their construction.

Anna Sui Victorian

Anna’s story begins in Detroit, she decided she wanted to become a fashion designer at the age of four. Growing up she would watch her mother for hours sewing, and would collect the fabric scraps to clothe her Barbie dolls and her brothers’ army action figures. Through this process, Sui learned the basics of making clothing and would soon put together her own outfits. She would read articles from Life Magazine, particularly about Mia Fonssagrives-Solow who graduated from Parsons The New School for Design in New York City and then moved to Paris. Anna credits this article as being the pivotal moment in her youth, which gave her clear direction on her future goals. She eventually  moved to New York and attended Parsons. She has redefined American fashion since her first runway show in 1991 and her pivotal grunge collection in 1993. Now she has more than 300 Anna Sui stores in 35 countries.

Anna Sui Grunge

She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of fashion history and this exhibition shows her dedication to the creative process. Some of her inspirations for her work are on display from magazines, rock-n-roll posters and clothing eras that have influenced her.

Anna Sui Purple Dress

In the main space all the mannequins are elevated on red podiums. The clothing’s strong  themes (‘archetypes’), are grouped in to nine themes, which have been recurrent in her 30-years career – Americana, Androgyny, Fairy Tale, Victorian, Grunge, Nomad, Mod, Punk, Rockstar & Hippie, Retro, Schoolgirl and Surfer.

Anna Sui Group

Curator Dennis Nothdruft organised Anna’s looks thematically rather than chronologically. Which draws the visitors’ attention to the threads running through each individual outfit, and the thread running through the exhibition – Printed textiles, layering, power pattern clashes and colours.

Ann Sui Red Dress

Anna Sui Cosmetics

Anna Sui Shoes

 

There are more than 125 full looks, select cosmetics, collaborative projects, mood boards, photographs and cultural ephemera on display. I found her first career retrospective a wonderful insight into her world, extremely enjoyable and fun.

 

Fashion and Textile Museum
83 Bermondsey St, London, SE1 3XF

26 May 17 – 01 Oct 17, Closed Mondays, Late opening Thursday (8pm)

£6 – £9.90

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