Saturday, 12 January 2013

A London Treat!

What started out as an innocent question “A, do you fancy going to the Hollywood Costume exhibition at the V&A at Christmas??” turned into a marathon day of train and tube travelling, exhibition visiting and a tiny bit of cheeky shopping…..but, oh, what a day!

After taking the first possible non-commuter train up to the Big Smoke, we arrived raring to go…..but then A got her ticket stuck in the barriers and managed to sneak through when C put her ticket in and left C on the other side of the barriers trying to explain her ticket-less state to the Ticket Inspector.  Red faces all round but we managed to convince him of our undoubted innocence and away we went, straight into a queue for topping up our Oyster cards (knew we should have done it online before we went!) but managed to inadvertently queue jump when we were asked to form a new queue for a recently opened machine – Yay! 

Finally, we were on the tube hurtling towards Ken High St and straight into another queue at the V&A for the Hollywood Costumes (no tickets had been available online before we went, one of the downsides of having to visit during holiday time)… hour later (and I am quite proud of our ‘staying power’) we were the proud possessors of two tickets for the 1.15pm slot.  Time then to pop into Chelsea for a quick spot of lunch before returning for the 

What an awesome exhibition!  So beautifully put together, even the mannequins were works of art but didn’t detract from the costumes, actually adding to the glamour. All C was bothered about was seeing Judy Garland’s Ruby Slippers from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and she wasn’t disappointed, the fact that they were displayed next to Marilyn ‘s original white dress from ’Some Like It Hot’ was just a bonus, not to mention getting up close and personal with Daniel Craig’s 007 tux!  We were both amazed at the sheer quantity and quality of the costumes on display, some of them originals from 1930s films, right up to the present day, through every genre of Hollywood movie…definitely hours well spent.

We then caught the tube over to Somerset House for the Valentino CoutureExhibition.  Staggering isn’t the word!  I still maintain it smelled of money!  Dress upon dress was on display in the most amazing and beautiful ‘Catwalk’ arrangement.  Although not to our taste, let’s face it, when would we ever have the opportunity to even gaze upon a Valentino gown let alone wear one? We were blown away by the sheer workmanship and beauty of the dresses as works of art.  We were however, more interested in the display and step-by-step explanation of some of Valentino’s signature textile processes.  An extraordinary exhibition.

We then went on to the totally awesome and absolutely incredible exhibition of Tim Walker’sfashion photography.  Unusual, these days, it was a FREE exhibition and packed full of Walker’s brilliant, sometimes dark, and quirky fashion shoots.  Not only were there rooms full of his photographs but also numerous examples of his props, including a 12ft high skeleton, 10ft tall baby doll, swan boat and two halves of a Spitfire!

After leaving the exhibition and before leaving Somerset House, we watched the ice skaters on the rink outside before visiting the Tatty Devine pop-up shop…..well, it would have been rude not to!  After a couple of well deserved purchases (a Fishbone Necklace for C and a Fox pendant for A) we retreated to the nearest coffee shop for a caffeine shot before wending our way through the commuter traffic for a pizza before catching the train home, exhausted but exceedingly happy with our day…..and our purchases!

Thank you Hollywood, Valentino, Tim Walker and Tatty Devine!

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