The Dior “Designer of Dreams” exhibition at the V&A Museum in 2019 was probably one of the profound fashion exhibitions that we’ve ever been privileged to view and it’s definitely served as a source of inspiration for us even though it’s somewhat removed from our normal area of focus. Below is a short video that gives a taste of that exhibition:
To further capture some of the impact of this exhibit, here’s a few pictures that we took during our visit:
And finally, where it all started… 🙂
Dior “Bar” Suit, 1947; V&A Museum (T.376&A-1960)
It’s been a busy August between renovating No. 11 in Tombstone, sorting out three households’ worth of goods (some which have been in storage for nearly four years), and working on new commissions but we’ve gotten it all under control and we’re looking forward to returning to the UK, and hopefully London, in October, assuming that the COVID situation doesn’t take a turn for the worse. Of course, on our return to London, we’re going to be hitting our usual haunts and maybe some new ones…
Some tentative stops on our fabric safari are:
- MacCulloch & Wallis, Ltd.– This one has admittedly mixed reviews and is priced a bit on the high side but you never know until you look.
- The Berwick Street Cloth Shop– The reviews are better here and it’s a short walk away from MacCulloch & Wallis so we might as check this one out too.
- The Silk Society– The name says it all…we’re always on the lookout for the unique and different and especially when it comes to silk. 🙂
- Kleins– Looks more of a generalist establishment but it may be worth hitting just because.
I’m sure there’s a lot more out there and I realize that the pricing is on the high side but we’ve always had the philosophy that if we come across the right piece for our clients, we’re willing to pay a little more. So with that said, it’s really more about the search and if we walk away empty-handed, that’s OK too. So here’s hoping! 🙂
It was three years ago today that we made our first journey to London after a hiatus of many years. It was a crazy adventure and while we experienced a bit of mild culture shock, it was a very mind-opening experience for us. We’re looking forward to picking up things again in October and hopefully a lot of the COVID craziness will have subsided. So here’s hoping! 🙂
After a 10 1/2 hour night flight from Los Angeles, we finally arrived in London at about 11:30 am , Sunday morning (well, technically it was Heathrow Airport). Then came the fun part of actually getting from the gate to the terminal proper to claim our baggage and perform all the usual immigration formalities. It seemed that the walk took forever as we trudged down seemingly endless corridors but finally we made it to immigration. The immigration officer looked at us a bit askance when we told her that we had three bags and would only be in the UK for a week but things cleared up when we explained that we were going to a formal dance in Bath and that we had one ball gown and a day dress along with the all the requisite underpinnings. 🙂
Getting ready to leave home…I think we were a tad overloaded…
After a chaotic train ride (won’t make that mistake again!) from heathrow to Paddington Station, we finally caught a cab and were soon ensconced at the Montana Hotel, our home for the next four days. In the course of travelling, we came to the realization that we’d packed way too much clothing and our bags weighed what seemed to be a ton. Also, we discovered very quickly that there’s lots of steps that can make moving heavy bags somewhat inconvenient.
Finally, we must note that we arrived at the tail end of a heat wave in London topping out at 80 degrees- air conditioning is usually absent in older buildings and it can get a bit hot and stuffy, especially given the humidity (as compared to Southern California). Getting into the hotel was also interesting when it turned out that the elevator was about the size of a shower stall…we had to bring the luggage to our room in shifts. Finally, our room was located in what would be considered a basement, there was a window so it wasn’t completely underground but it was a strange feeling, to say the least.
Once again, it’s time to head off to Great Britain for a little bit of fabric shopping and a change of scenery. We’ll be there for a for a week and we’ll be spending more of our time seeing the sights of Southern England so stay tuned! 🙂
As a follow-up to our prior post about the fashion collection at the V&A Museum in London, we got to thinking that the V&A can be a bit intimidating for people visiting for the first time. From our experience, here are a few tips for the first-timer:
- Arrive Early- The museum opens at 10 am and the line starts forming up long before. We suggest arriving at 9 to 9:30 am.
- Plan Your Visit- It’s probably best to start with sections farthest away from the front entrance. Plan out the sections you want to see and work your way from the inside. The first time we visited, we started on the Sixth Floor and worked our way down (FYI- the costume gallery is on the first floor). Maps of the museum are available on the V&A Website.
- Special Exhibitions- In addition to the permanent collection, there are often special exhibitions going on which they charge a separate admission fee. We strongly advise that you reserve tickets far in advance- like as soon as it’s announced. With the recent Dior exhibition, we bought the tickets in January even though we weren’t in London until late April. Don’t count on being able to just buy tickets on the date of your visit.
- Internal Climate- This is never brought up anywhere but museums in the UK and the rest of Europe often have minimal ventilation and air conditioning (unless the collection requires it) and things can be quite stifling at times, especially in the warmer months. This can be a bit of a trial so plan accordingly. Fortunately, there’s a nice large outdoor central courtyard where one can catch their breath.
While the above is by no means a comprehensive list, it should make your first-time experience more enjoyable. Finally, below is an introductory video from the V& A that you might find helpful: