Sunday, 11 November 2012
Saturday, 20 October 2012
I was fortunate enough to attend a member's preview of Hollywood Costume at the venerable V&A last night. I am loath to use the phrase 'hottest ticket in town', but if the cliché fits...
Gathering iconic attire from over a century of cinema; the exhibition explores the pivotal role costume plays in silver screen storytelling, the wardrobe designer’s creative process and the connection between actor and attire. Plus there were some really gorgeous gowns...
While at times it was truly awe-inspiring to be in such close proximity to these outfits (Seven Year Itch Marilyn, Breakfast at Tiffany's Audrey/Givenchy, Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, The Dude's bathrobe, Darth!!!), I couldn't help but feel that the layout was clumsy and cluttered. I foresee a pandemic of 'gallery rage', as people push with pointed elbows to get closer to the hems of their heroes.
A bewildering amount of space was devoted to Natalie Portman's trampy get-up in Mike Nichols instantly forgettable and mostly unnoticed 'Closer' and yet Charlie Chaplin's Tramp found himself unceremoniously wedged in between the imperial magnificence of The Last Emperor and the stunning Scarlett O’Hara (both fabulous in their own rights). The superheroes (Batman, Spiderman but particularly Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman) fared worst of all, as they appeared to have been shoved on any remaining dusty ledges and undignified nooks. I couldn’t help but wonder if they had run out of plinths.
The Dude, Big Lebowski
Some of the costume choices were also a tad baffling; the Jason Bourne character isn’t exactly know for his glamorous get-up (grey cotton was all I got). While to feature anything from John Carter, Disney’s $150m loss-making debacle, was almost cruel. And the inclusion of a dull dress from the equally dull 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days' was utterly inexplicable. Kate Hudson should NEVER make it into any sort of retrospective, unless someone is curating an expo on vapid actresses and Hollywood nepotism.
The lighting also didn't really do many of these masterpieces justice and was rather affected. As if controlled by some demented dimmer switch, it would suddenly plunge the exhibits into near darkness, just as you were trying to study the stunning peacock feathers of Hedy Lamarr's jaw-dropping dress from Samson & Delilah (1949).
However I would still highly recommend a trip to South Ken, as there is something so magical about being so close to these garments. Although how close you might actually get is quite another thing...
Boat drinks and hooray for Hollywood!
P.S Exit through the gift shop, as yet again the V&A buyers have excelled themselves.
P.P.S Couldn't take many snaps, as security was rather 'vigilant'.
Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Seeking a change of scene, an excursion to
Reeling away from all the depressing defilement, we headed to The Greenwich Union, a Meantime pub that had enjoyed invariably positive write-ups. While the array of beers, ales and associated beverages was undeniably impressive, the décor had all the character of a Wetherspoon in Welwyn Garden City. The overpowering colour scheme of baby turd yellow was utterly baffling and more likely to induce a migraine than encourage you to buy another round. Delicious drinks though!
Even a trip to the quite brilliant
Boat Drinks Sir Christopher Wren!
Thursday, 20 September 2012
Wednesday, 19 September 2012
I paid a trip to Tom Dixon’s LDF12 event at The Dock yesterday. Literally in the back of beyond, but still well worth a visit as it was an interesting mix up of pop-up shops and interactive art installations.
With his host hat firmly in place, it was more a case of 'enter' through the gift-shop, as first stop was Mr D's retail emporium which stocks a number of his classic designs as well as the new 'Eclectic' collection; smaller objets and gifting pieces such as a door-stop fashioned like a trad gents shoe or a miniature factory which is actually a moneybox. Quite kitsch and wee bit of a whiff of Jonathan Adler. There is also a range of highly scented candles.
Be Open Space was the main focus of the site and basically involved a number of plywood sheds in the courtyard where different artists were exhibiting their wares/creating oddities.
My absolute favourite had to be the Traces ‘Junk’ Shop, which on first glance appeared to be stuffed with old tat from a car boot sale, but in fact every single piece had been specifically crafted by a number of designers for the installation and were really rather wonderful. This included an interactive game housed in a junk-shop bureau, where we had to answer questions and solve puzzles in order to make the next drawer open and reveal another clue. Just brilliant!
Faye Toogood’s The Back Room project featured a studio and workshop next door to each other, creating indoor shoes out of felt (‘House Hightops’ – v.ugly). It was intended to be a celebration of the “post industrial” era.
Design on Chocolate featured the likes of Lee Broom, Faye Toogood and Tom Dixon collaborating with premium chocolate brands, such as Coco Maya and Rocco, to create weird and not that wonderful pieces sculptured from chocolate.
Boat Drinks Mr Dixon!