Photo of the Week: Previously Unpublished Exhibition Photo

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Mary Quant Tracksuit (1965-1975), Mary Quant Exhibition, V&A Museum, 2019

 

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.

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion Exhibition

The first UK exhibition to explore the work and legacy of the Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga. The Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion exhibition showcases over 100 garments and hats crafted by Balenciaga, his protégés and contemporary designers working in the same innovative way today.

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Evening Dress and Cape – Silk gazar. Cristóbal Balenciaga, 1961

Split into two sections the exhibition looks at the later stage of Balenciaga’s career, focusing on Balenciaga’s work during the 1950s and 60s,  the second section examines his undoubtable influence on contemporary designers. There are Sketches, patterns, fabric samples, photographs and catwalk footage revealing Balenciaga’s uncompromising and relentless creativity. There are a number of Balenciaga’s timeless shapes on display, including the tunic, the sack, “baby doll” and shift dress.

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Cocktail ‘Baby doll’ dress – Crêpe de chine. Cristóbal Balenciaga, 1958

Through a series of X-rays, created by artist Nick Veasey, the V&A shows us the intricate nature of the hidden construction of a Balenciaga garment.

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Evening Dress – Silk gazar (X-Ray in background) Cristóbal Balenciaga, 1965

Other show highlights include creations by Balenciaga for Hollywood actress Ava Gardner, dresses and shoes by wealthy businessman’s wife Elizabeth Parke Firestone, dresses and hats from socialite and 60s fashion icon Gloria Guinness, and pieces worn by Mona von Bismarck, one of the world’s wealthiest women,  she commissioned everything from ball-gowns to gardening shorts.

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Evening Coat – Net and ostrich feathers, lined with silk organza (Owned by Ava Gardner). Cristóbal Balenciaga, 1964

Those who trained with Balenciaga have garments also on display in the exhibition, pieces by Paco Rabanne, André Courrèges and Emanuel Ungaro are included.

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Evening mini-dress – Plastic paillettes and metal wire. Paco Rabanne, 1967

Initiated in the 1970s by the photographer Cecil Beaton, Balenciaga’s longstanding friend the V&A has the largest collection of Balenciaga in the UK. The exhibition marks the centenary of the opening of Balenciaga’s first fashion house in San Sebastian, Spain, and the 80th anniversary of the opening of his famous fashion house in Paris.

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Evening dress – Silk taffeta. Cristóbal Balenciaga, 1954

The exhibition is truly a sheer delight for fashion enthusiasts, especially for reminding us of the originality of the designs at the height of Balenciaga’s career. A very enjoyable glimpse at his work and enduring legacy. 

 

On now until Sunday, 18 February 2018

 

Admission

Daily: 10.00 – 17.30

Last entry 16.15

Friday: 10.00 – 21.30

Last entry 20.15

 

Room 40

 

Tickets cost £12.00

Concessions apply.
Advance booking is recommended.

Exhibitions are free for Members

Members do not need to book.

 

https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/balenciaga-shaping-fashion