Tag Archive: Exhibition

Apr 21 2014

Exhibition: The Fashion World Of Jean Paul Gaultier

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Ever since the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition opened in Montreal I have been excited about its visit to London, not only is the French designer one of the most recognisable couturiers in fashion, but I knew that the exhibit would be very theatrical, filled with exquisite gowns as well as some of the costumes he has made for the likes of Madonna, yep the conical bra corset is on display, and Kylie Minogue.

Spanning across two floors this is a large exhibition, covering his love of Breton stripes, double denim, punk street style, dramatic red carpet worthy gowns, as well as a boudoir dedicated to the corset. There are lots of highlights in this amazing exhibition from iconic pieces such as the ‘La Mariee’ wedding gown above styled with an Indian-style feather headress-train covered in ivory silk tulle to the specially designed wigs by hair stylist Odile Gilbert like the metre-high Union Jack Mohawk and the life-like sometimes singing mannequins that take a little getting used to.

This isn’t like an ordinary fashion exhibition, it isn’t displaying works in chronicle order or even by collection, it really plays upon Gaultier’s loves – his love of stripes, his love of bejewelled gowns, his love of the Punk era in London, his love of the corset and his love of sexuality in his designs. It really works with the designer’s personality.

What I adored about this exhibit is how close you can get to the pieces, I really feel that Couture fashion is an art form, and the Barbican obviously feel the same in the way they have laid out this exhibition of JPG’s work. The detail in some of the pieces is exquisite and I love that some of the information card tells you how it took to create, for instance the camouflage-effect ruffled tulle gown that Sarah Jessica Parker wore to the MTV Awards in 2000 took over 300 hours to make.

I would definitely recommend a visit to this exhibition if you love fashion and couture, give yourself a whole afternoon though to really take in the large exhibition, and download The Barbican’s free app that acts as a multimedia guide to his career.

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As well as getting an early look at the exhibition it was also amazing to hear from Jean Paul Gaultier in conversation with the exhibition curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot, hearing about how much London means to him, his inspirations, talking about how the film ‘Falbalas’ inspired him to pursue fashion, his tips for future designers, as well as his how his Gran inspired his love affair with corsets. He really was insightful and truly charming.

On his love of London, Jean Paul Gaultier said: “I feel more at home here than Paris. I am honoured to have 1/8th of English blood from my grandfather’s side. You, the roast beefs, embrace me the [French] frog – I’m proud to say that.”

Addressing future designers, Gaultier added: “I love that I get to do the work I love. If you have the passion it is worth it. If you truly love it you don’t feel like it is hard work. My first collection I did with no money, no sponsorship, I’m very proud I did it with no money. If you love it, no problem, if you just want to be known or be famous, maybe do something else.”

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The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk’ is at the Barbican, EC2, until August 25. 

Apr 03 2014

Exhibition: V&A – The Glamour Of Italian Fashion

VA Italian Fashion 5 Exhibition: V&A   The Glamour Of Italian Fashion %tagWhen I think about Italian fashion, I think about how many gorgeous luxury labels there are, and the exquisite quality that they bring to the red carpet in-particular. You have the romantic and elegant vibe of Valentino, bold and edgy fashion covered by Versace and Dolce & Gabbana, you have fabulous tailoring and minimalism from Armani, uber-sexy glamour from Roberto Cavalli and pure femme fatale from Gucci – and that’s without mentioned the beauty of Prada, the fun of Moschino, the divine prints of Pucci and the knitted beauties by Missoni.

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The V&A’s latest fashion exhibition explores all their influential contributions to fashion, as well as the rich passion of the Italian fashion industry from the end of the Second World War to the present day in its beautifully curated ‘The Glamour of Italian Fashion’ exhibition, which runs from April 5 until July 27, 2014.

One of the most striking rooms within the exhibition has to be the array of modern-day pieces, these are the most recognisable – from the hand-painted Dolce & Gabbana ballgown to a floor-length romantic Valentino gown and accessories including the Fendi baguette bag, Gucci’s ‘New Jackie’ bag and Tod’s vibrant driving moccasins.

Just seeing the red carpet beauties up close, especially the gorgeous Armani Prive gown from the spring/summer 2010 collection, encrusted with Swarovski crystals was amazing to see – the craftsmanship is just incredible.

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But the most revealing section had to be the opening ‘Return to Luxury’ area of the exhibit, telling the story of the early ‘Sala Bianca’ catwalk shows in Florence held in the 1950′s and featuring couture designers including Simonetta, just look at her spectacular 1950′s evening gown above, and Capucci, who became known for his sculptural style with this intricate multi-layered scalloped ruffled cocktail dress presented with a silver velvet stole from 1957.

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Other highlights had to be this red tulle couture dress by Valentino from 1977, the dramatic colour and the ruffles is so synonymous with his romantic and ethereal work. As was seeing the Bulgari emerald and diamond jewellery that was worn by Elizabeth Taylor in 1967 to a masked ball in Venice, the iconic jewels just show off what Italian glamour is.

This exhibition is so much more than fashion, it is a history on how Italian fashion became such a fixture in the industry, the earlier couture designers, as well as the rise of the country’s luxury fashion houses. If you love fashion, Italian style and gorgeous dresses – you will love this exhibition.

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The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014, sponsored by Bulgari, runs from April 5 – July 27, 2014 at the V&A.

Nov 20 2013

Exhibition: Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith

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I love a good fashion exhibition, a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look into a fashion house, a designer or even a fashion icon, what the Design Museum have done to honour Paul Smith is much more than a celebration of his fashion but of him, his inspiration, how he ticks, it is more about his personality.

Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith, is a totally apt title for this exhibition, of course his fashion is explored, well actually it only has one room dedicated to the designer’s clothes, it is more about where he works, where he gets his inspiration, the items, pictures and trinkets he has picked up along the way, as well as a historical look back at his career to date. It really is fascinating.

The exhibition is sectioned off into themes, there is a mock-up of the first shop he owned in Nottingham, a 3m x 3m box, a recreation of his “cluttered” office, a gallery lined with framed pictures of images found, sent or captured by the designer, a replica of his design studio, as well a look at how the brand’s first showroom space in Paris inside a hotel suite, and a digital room featuring a short psychedelic film ‘Inside Paul’s Head’ along with screens showcasing abstract images, which is narrated by Smith explaining his creative process.

There are also rooms dedicated to the designer’s numerous collaborations from cars to teapots, his individual approach to the design of his shops, which includes a wall decorated with buttons, as well as a look behind-the-scenes of his menswear show in June, and there is even a fun ‘selfie’ area where you can snap yourself with life-size cardboard cut-outs of Smith.

There are many favourite bits in this exhibition – I love how his office is the focal point of the exhibit, it was fascinating to see the things that he keeps close by and that inspire him – from rabbit figurines, a pink Dyson, vintage cameras, a bike, and stacks of books. It makes me feel that my organised chaos surrounded by Barbie dolls is completely normal!!!

It was also nice to look back at the history of the brand through the invites and launch gifts – I wonder how many people will be checking eBay to get their hands on Paul Smith fashion transfers!!! The other highlight had to be the gallery filled with pictures he has collected over the years – some of which were pictures and letters that people had sent him and it was nice to see that he collects them.

What I loved most about this exhibition is its appeal to non-fashion people, fashion actually takes a back seat and it’s the creativity that shines through and it really is a fascinating look in to the mind of a fashion designer.

‘Hello My Name is Paul Smith’ at the Design Museum runs from November 15 – March 9, 2014.

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May 22 2013

Exhibition: Inside The Hermès Festival des Métiers

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I am loving that fashion exhibitions are all the rage, I loved discovering Dior at Harrods, I adored checking out the ballgowns at the V&A, was completely memsormised by the exquiste Valentino gowns when his exhibition opened at Somerset House, and was blown away by the over-sized props at the Tim Walker Story Teller exhibit.

Well now is the turn of French fashion house Hermès, who have brought their Festival des Métiers to London, so you can watch their artisans create some of their iconic pieces. If you have every wondered how Hermès make their luxury pieces that you have admired this is the exhibit for you, and I think you will be surprised by how the pieces come together and appreciate their luxury price tags a little more when you see the hand craftsmanship that goes into each item.

The exhibition is all about showcasing the traditions and values of Hermès and the Saatchi Gallery has been transformed into a make-shift workshop. It isn’t a huge exhibit but there is a lot to see as the fashion house is showcasing 10 different crafts from its leather work to the creation of its fashion pieces and even its jewellery.

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You can watch the artisans make pieces from scratch and you are encouraged to ask them questions and find out more about their work. I watch all the ten different crafts from the intricate work of putting a watch together, I have no idea how she knew where to put what piece, to seeing a silk tie made entirely by hand. It was fascinating to watch the artisan pinning the fabric and hand-sewing it together, she did it with ease, with precision and total care.

It was also interesting to find out how long it takes to make these pieces, for instance this tie takes 20 minutes, but what was refreshing to hear was that that Hermès is all about quality over quantity, for instance if a scarf doesn’t come out perfect they are shredded up and used to stuff cushions.

I was also blown away by the detailing that goes into one of their famous silk scarves – from the mixing of the unique colours to the numerous layers of printing to the embroidery work, and all done on the finest silk, and it was fascinated to see how much work is done to the leather to produce the famous Birkin handbag, it is cut, trim, treated and then fitted together – it was incredible.

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It is rare to have an inside look into a major fashion house and I couldn’t recommend this exhibition more, especially if you are fascinated by how designer pieces are put together.

You have to be quick though as this free exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea is only on until May 27, but what better way to spend a Bank Holiday weekend. Plus when you are done you can go for a spot of shopping, or in my case window shopping at all the fantastic floral displays in honour of the Chelsea Flower Show that is on down the road.

For more pictures of the exhibition head on over to my Facebook page, I have a new camera so I took a lot!!!

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[Pics: All taken by me, Fashionista Barbie - please don't use without crediting]

 

Jan 26 2013

Exhibition: Tim Walker – Story Teller

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This week I finally got chance to visit Tim Walker’s incredible exhibition at Somerset House. I am not sure what took me so long, but after I couldn’t make the press preview I kind of just kept forgetting but with the exhibition coming to an end this weekend I just couldn’t let it end without looking around.

Tim Walker, famous for his incredible Mulberry campaigns, is much more than just a photographer, this creative-but-tiny exhibit really shows off the lengths he goes to in his shoots with the use of gorgeous and generally oversized props. Everything from giant bugs, skeletons, musical instruments, planes, crumpled up newspaper and my favourite the giant rag doll, which is kind of creepy-but-adorable.

tim walker doll Exhibition: Tim Walker   Story Teller %tagSadly you aren’t allowed to take pictures, crazy right when they have been everywhere on Twitter, Instagram and the Internet, but I just couldn’t resist taking a few sneaky snaps with my mobile *here’s hoping Tim Walker doesn’t mind*, but come on beauty like this needs to be shared with more than just words right?

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The exhibition closes tomorrow, so if like me you kept forgetting, and thought you had loads of time – you don’t and for a free exhibition I would certainly recommend checking out if you are in the Somerset House area this weekend.

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Tim Walker: Story Teller runs at Somerset House until January 27, 2013 – open 10am until 6pm.

Dec 04 2012

Exhibition: Valentino – Master Of Couture

Valentino 5 Exhibition: Valentino   Master Of Couture %tagLast week I went to a preview of the Valentino: Master of Couture exhibition at Somerset House, and if you have already been to see the amazing exhibition I am sorry it took me so long to post. I have been debating whether or not to post as I couldn’t take my own images, and I have to be honest the ones provided are just a little blah and don’t show off this fantastic exhibition as I would have liked.

This is the first time I have been to an exhibition at Somerset House, which is strange really as I spend a lot of time there for fashion week and events throughout the year, but I have been looking forward to this exhibition celebrating Valentino’s 50 year career for a while, and it might not have wowed me like I would have liked but there were elements that really captured my interest.

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Split into three sections, the first is a room sharing personal photographs of Valentino, his couture invites, and letters from the likes of Anna Wintour sharing how much they love him, while it was interesting to see I did find it a tad boring – I didn’t take anything away from it about Valentino, just that Anna Wintour like me has huge handwriting!!!

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However, the second section ‘The Catwalk’ is incredible, showcasing more than 130 of Valentino’s hand-crafted haute couture designs, I loved the reversal of the visitors to the exhibition taking the place of the model and walking along the 60-metre catwalk to view the designs, which are sat like they are the audience.

It wasn’t just the layout that impressed me, it was nice wandering down the catwalk, but what I loved was that Somerset House resisted the urge to place these delicate couture gowns behind glass, instead you can get up close with the pieces, see the hand-beaded embroidery and really get a feel for the hours of work that went into each piece.

It was also nice to see the designs colour-coded by decade, ‘Mint’ for the 1950s, ‘mustard’ for the 1960s, all the way up to Ice for the 2010s, I did think they might have organised it in theme of clothing for instance an area for red carpet, day wear and bespoke, but the way the designs were curated together was refreshing.

However, the grouping and the numbered circles of the mannequins wrists did mean that I relied a little too much on the free brochure, which with its red-print I could barely read under the dimmed lighting, instead I made a note of the number and went back to the book over a cuppa.

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There are a number of highlights from the exhibition, top of my list had to be seeing Julia Roberts Oscar gown from 2001, the classic black number has been turned away in the exhibition so you can see all the white ribbon detailing to the back. Another must see look is Princess Marie-Chantel of Greece’s pearl-encrusted ivory silk wedding gown, which has its own section it is so grand, seriously gorgeous. Also keep an eye out for designs worn by Anne Hathaway, Audrey Hepburn, and Jackie Kennedy.

Overall, if you love couture, love Valentino, and generally love getting up close with red carpet worthy looks then you will really enjoy this exhibition, if like me you also wanted to take a sense of who Valentino is then you might be a little disappointed, but I would say just for the catwalk section this exhibition is worth a trip.

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Valentino: Master of Couture runs at Somerset House until March 3, 2013.

[Pics: courtesy of Somerset House/Peter Macdiarmid]

Oct 21 2012

Exhibition: Hollywood Costume At The V&A

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I have been getting excited about seeing the V&A’s Hollywood Costume exhibition since it was announced earlier this year. I just couldn’t wait to see Audrey Hepburn’s dress and pearls from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, all the marvellous creations of costume designer Edith Head, as well as getting up close and personal with the replica Harry Winston Isadora necklace as seen in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, well last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the press preview and I wasn’t disappointed.

This is a huge exhibition, there are more than a hundred costumes from some of the most iconic films – from Scarlett O’Hara’s green curtain dress from Gone with the Wind, Joan Crawford’s blue gingham waitress uniform in Mildred Pierce, John Travolta’s white-3-piece suit from Saturday Night Fever, and there is even a huge displays dedicated to Indiana Jones – complete with fedora hat and whip.

Situated over three rooms, this exhibition really embraces the world of movies, literally full of lights, camera and action *sorry couldn’t resist*. As well as having the costumes on displays the lighting, the sound, and the use of technology makes you feel like you are in the cinema. Granted it maybe a little dark in places, a little noisy, and somewhat spooky seeing a slow-moving image of the actors face displayed on a TV screen suspended above the costume, but I think that adds to the atmosphere of the exhibition.

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The three rooms are designed to tell the story of costume design, from the role of the costume designer in cinema, the creative process of collaborations, and finishing up with the finale, which is basically an overload of all the best known costumes in cinema history – all your heroes and heroines are there. Even some of my favourites are included such as Katharine Hepburn’s jewelled evening gown from The Philadelphia Story, Keira Knightley’s green silk from Atonement, Barbra Streisand’s Funny Girl ball gown, and Legally Blonde’s Elle Woods even shines in her pink two-piece suit.

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As the exhibition is sponsored by Harry Winston the jewellery has re-created the famous ‘Isadora’ necklace as worn by Kate Hudson in one of my favourite rom-coms How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Seeing the diamond cluster necklace with its 51.94 carat yellow sapphire drop pendant is one of my highlights - also her yellow silk dress is just as stunning as it is on-screen.

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Another highlight was seeing Edith Head’s pale green suit designed for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds from 1963, this section really brings the costume to life with the use of technology. I don’t want to give it away, but I could have spent all day just checking this one section out, the interviews and the sketches were really incredible – also pretty cool seeing the birds fly over the display.

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The exhibition is open to the public until January 27, 2013 – so you don’t need to rush – give yourself plenty of time to take it all in. Tickets are £14 each and I would recommend booking online – this is going to be a popular exhibition.

I am not going to spoil the exhibition – but can you name all the below films from the costume?

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