Just had to take a break from those builders…. we went to London for the day. The crowds and the queues were terrible at the V and A – of course, it was still the Jubilee half-term. We stood in line for 45 minutes to get the tickets – I got in the most unbelievably terrible bad mood – all panicky and tearful – was just so tired anyway.
Then after all that, I didn’t like the exhibition. The dresses were somehow totally sterile and dead, all displayed on headless white wraiths. It was worst on the ground floor, where they were in dimly lit glass cases. At least they could have had a few spotlights to sparkle off the jewelled beading. You needed more information – and pictures, about who wore the dresses and when, and also some of them put together as outfits on proper mannequins, with gloves, shoes, bags, jewels etc. They would have done better to have been arranged chronologically, also. The overall background theme of the exhibition was white and grey, and pretty minimalist – it needed to be far more blinging, to reflect the atmosphere of a ball. Upstairs the more modern dresses were easier to relate to – arranged on huge white shiny balls – I think they were supposed to be pearls. I took a few illicit photographs until I was told off my an attendant. I think the dress above is by Gareth Pugh.
Tottered out of the V and A and went across town to meet Anna at the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey. Phew, what a relief – peaceful, quiet, lovely tea room, and a really interesting exhibition about the work of women textile designers like Lucienne Day. I had never heard of the place until Anna told the Philosopher about it – apparently it was founded by Zandra Rhodes.
Only three days before we move house now….. builders are still up there….