You Say You Wanna Dive Into The Sixties?

It’s a biggie. The V&A’s current main exhibition; ‘You Say You Want A Revolution?’ is epic, I mean, it really is huuuuge! My Mama and I spent last Sunday in sunny Kensington and took in all the sights and sounds of this ace exhibition; a good day indeed. The V&A is always utter perfection when it comes to these giant offerings, the scale was that of the McQueen and the Hollywood *still my all time favourite exhibition* ones, you need a good couple of hours to get round it and get it all up in your face and ears, it’s worth it, it’s always worth it with that place. This show covers so much, you don’t know where to look first, and you’re handed headphones on your way in so there’s constant audio too. The numerous rooms cover the latter part of the sixties, conveying the importance and effects of this massively important era, and they present it through fashion, film, music and political activism from the time. Behold the beauty of the vintage clothes that make up part of the show, perfectly selected to give just the right amount of mixed media. I mean, this exhibition can please most people, any age. The ones who lived through it will be queuing up for a hit of sweet nostalgia, vintage fans, music lovers, people keen to learn about the history, this show has a serious pull to many. It covers loads, there’s even a piece of the actual Moon from NASA in reference to Apollo 11 off of 1969. the actual MOON! I was staring at that for a while let me tell ya! It has outfits from The Beatles ‘Sgt. Pepper’ album cover, a Barbarella outfit, a jumpsuit worn by Mick Jagger and actual handwritten song lyrics from John Lennon and the like. Oooof! It’s really very cool. One room is set up as Woodstock, with fake grass and a big stage streaming footage of the event, full marks to whoever curated that neat little idea! It’s a grand show, a really thorough exhibition, lots to read, look at, listen to and watch. It was almost too much, but I guess it means a second visit is a good idea if you wanna soak it all up real good! I’d say go, do it, go dive into the 60’s for a few hours and become absorbed. Be careful with those headphones though, I took mine off at points just to focus on the visual as it’s all quite in your face. My Mum didn’t though, and her, along with some others, sporadically shouted conversation forgetting they had headphones on; ‘Your Dad wore that aftershave‘ pointing at a Brut ad. Yes, Mum, he did, but the whole of the V&A doesn’t need to hear about it. A good exhibition indeed.  

You Say You Want A Revolution? is on now at The V&A until 26th February 2017

Vogue 100: A Century of Style


This Monday I personally got my peepers on the Vogue 100: A Century of Style exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, goodness, so much beauty for my eyes to behold. Celebrating the 100th birthday of British Vogue, this is somewhat of an epic exhibition, I mean, maaan, where do you start when trying to curate an exhibition showing the highlights of 100 years worth of fashion and photography from the worlds most prestigious fashion bible? A magazine which has launched and defined the careers of so many models, designers and photographers. A hard task, the selection and editing must have been pretty intense. But this, is a stunning exhibition. Beautifully, simply and elegantly executed, with no gimmicks and no unnecessary pomp. It’s a big exhibition, I mean, it kinda had to be to do justice to the subject, but it doesn’t drag and it’s spaced to perfection so you can take in each image on it’s own whilst also enjoying the continuity and splendor of the exhibition as a whole; perfection. It gets busy and if it had been any busier we would have felt cramped but, it had a lovely atmosphere, all ages sharing the space together for an hour or two to soak up some mesmerizing talent and beauty. It is a little pricey, it costs £19 for a regular ticket which is definitely a little more than most exhibitions in the city, but is it worth it? Yes, I’d say it is, but only just. A few pounds cheaper would seem a better price. Shown in a reverse chronological order, we see the best images from the magazine now, and go all the way back, through the decade dedicated rooms, to it’s launch in 1916. My favourite section? It has to be the 1990’s room where we saw the start of Kate Moss’s career, the photography of Corinne Day and the familiar faces of Princess Diana and Posh and Becks in their heyday. My era. Loved it. Get yourself there before it ends on 22nd May and let me know your favourite era of this massive magazine.



Cooking Cocktails- The Breaking Bad Pop-Up Bar

ABQ London, a 3 month summer pop-up bar themed around THE best TV show ever, Breaking Bad, is where The Boy and I went for Date Night last week.This event (named after the US state of Albuquerque where BB is set) is the sweet brainchild of Locappy and the creatives behind pop-up Annie The Owl which hit London in the Spring, and it’s pretty ace. Parked up in a slightly random and derelict car park in Hackney is a massive American RV just like the one Walter and Jesse cooked Meth in, cue; EXCITEMENT. Once inside you have a small team in their yellow Hazmat suits helping you ‘cook’ blue cocktails in the ‘lab’; think glass beakers, dry ice, white powder and test tubes, all under the crystal meth coloured blue light. Fab. You get two hours in the van, around 20 people at a time, and you get two generous cocktails which you cook with your team. It was kinda kooky and a little low budget but that made it feel all the more authentic and like a great secret discovery. Given the brilliant idea of it AND the massive cult following of the show, I’m kinda pleased that it wasn’t done on a big grand corporate scale with mass coverage and big budgets, It was cool and had an off the radar charm to it. I can’t really think of how they could have made it better, we concluded that the only thing would have been a fake raid on the van while we cooked; alas, we didn’t get busted. We booked our tickets way in advance for this and it’s limited slots meant it sold out pretty quick, but, they’ve just announced that they’re releasing another batch of tickets very soon, so if you fancy playing at being a dirty Meth maker this Summer, get booking and cookingabq10101abq3abq4abq5abq6abq8abq9abq-london-26

Dressed to Dance; Memphis The Musical


I was pretty certain that I’m not the kinda girl to enjoy a Musical at the Theatre. I had assessed, years ago, that they were probably a little too saccharin and happy-clappy for me to sit through. Not that I don’t like a trip to the Theatre, I absolutely do, I adore a night watching a play or a movie on the big screen, the escapism enthralls me but, singing and dancing….meh, not for me. But on Tuesday night I totally proved myself wrong. Coming out into the blustery streets of London from a too-busy tube journey- the kind where strangers are all a little to close for comfort- my Mum and I arrived at Shaftesbury Theatre, expecting a somewhat mediocre show. ‘Probably a painfully cheery display of over eager performers’ we thought, but, we were shown something way superior. From the very first second that ‘Memphis The Musical’ sprang into action, we were hooked, big time. What an invigorating show we were given! Produced by Christopher Jahnke and starring Beverley Knight and Killian Donnelly, this multi award winning and energetic show told a totally readable tale about the birth of black music into mainstream America in the 1950’s. I, of course was mostly taking a keen peep at the clothing, especially as the 50’s is one of my favourite fashion eras, and, I wasn’t disappointed with that either. Esteemed Costume Director Paul Tazewell has created a total feast for the eyes. Often in theatre, you see more reproduction vintage as it’s easier, more dance and sweat proof, the originals sometimes being too fragile and scarce to be used night after night sustaining so much wear and tear. But, having a pretty good eye for what’s the real deal in old clothes, I could see from my seat that much of the fashion was -hooray- original, and I was all the more excited because of it. Lead Beverley, whose voice literally took my breath away, wore some super cute dresses, and a couple of gorgeous pencil skirts and knits too. All very typical of the American fashions at the time, the kind of 50’s clothes that most gals drool over, the epitome of the era. She wore one red chiffon cocktail dress which particularly made my eyes pop and the added sparkle to many of her dresses meant she shimmered and dazzled under the lights like a doll. The dancers all gave great costume too, each one in perfectly authentic wares from the time, some in Capri pants and tight knits and others in their full skirted glory; perfect for their exaggerated moves. It wasn’t cartoonish like say, Grease, it was more honest, more mature and a great display of what real people in Memphis would have afforded. The guys were pretty snazzy too, quite often, and probably quite rightly, men’s fashions are overlooked and dull in comparison to women’s, that’s true for all eras; ladies fashion is just more exciting as a rule. But here, we had gold lurex suits, checked gabardine jackets, Cuban shirts and trilby’s, totally brilliant. And boy did they wear them well! Those gals and guys can dance and sing, jeepers, a standing ovation was the obvious ending to the night! You could say that this fantastic musical makes a very slightly lighthearted story of an important racial movement in history, it doesn’t get too deep or harrowing even though we know the reality was harsh. But it does give a brief glimpse into the situation of racial inequality in 50’s America, whetting your appetite to learn more, and giving you exactly what you want from a night at the theatre: entertainment and a smile on your face as you leave. I’m converted, I loved it, I Thought it was nothing short of excellent and simply cannot fault it one bit. And the vintage fashion made it not only brilliant, but very beautiful too.
mem4memphis-musical-thefabuloustimesMemphis, 2014, Credit: Johan Persson/mem3mem2

Memphis The Musical is at Shaftesbury Theatre now

Get a glimpse of the show here


Getting to Know Knitwear

knit 10

Ooof! If there’s one thing I love about the colder weather that’s creeping in, it’s getting all cosy with knitwear and so it was without hesitation that as Autumn started showing it’s blustery face I swooped down to the beautiful Bermondsey to take in the latest exhibition at The Fashion and Textile Museum; called KNITWEAR, Chanel to Westwood. I’ve not been to an exhibition at this place which I haven’t adored, it’s the most informal, welcoming and relaxed atmosphere and the size of the exhibition space means that each show is perfectly digestible and you don’t need to spend hours making sure you’ve seen everything there is to see. Although that being said, I get the feeling that staff wouldn’t mind one bit if you fancied lingering the whole day long looking at the fashion on display. Sometimes with the more epic fashion exhibitions at venues such as the V & A, it can be kinda overwhelming and you feel like you need to invest the bulk of your day taking in all the sights and remembering all the information you are learning. Sometimes, that’s great, you wanna loose yourself in a magical exhibition, in an amazing venue for hours and hours, but, there’s a lot to be said for those small and perfectly formed exhibitions in smaller places which can be enjoyed as part of your day rather than as all of it. For me, this is where The Fashion and Textile Museum excel.
This exhibition was a super display of knitted fashions spanning the last century and, was interestingly predominantly made up of the personal collection of Mark and Cleo Butterfield. It was more a showing off of their vast and spectacular collection than a timeline of knitting, allowing the whole thing to feel slightly more light-heated than historically rigid. With amaaaazing examples on show, we get to see the journey of knitwear; it’s early use for warmth and function, knitted swimwear and evening dresses of the 1920’s, the ‘make do and mend’ trend for unravelling jumpers to use the yarn again, embellished angora sweaters from the 50’s, futuristic knits from the likes of Couregges in the 60’s, novelty and folklore knits in the 70’s and the experimental bold knitwear from the 80’s! This exhibition is thorough without being too heavy and you get a really good grasp of knitwear and it’s past, there’s plenty to swoon over, especially, for me, the 1920’s fine knit gowns! The layout was a bit dark for me, the displays were sectioned into large wooden shipping crates, with some piled two high so it pulled the small space in quite close and felt a bit gloomy, but, the actual garments themselves were all pretty well lit and what I always like about this place is you can peep your eyes up real close to the displays and see every stitch! A gorgeous exhibition that leaves me gasping to get a look at more of Cleo and Marks incredibly large private collection of vintage fashion….. making mine just seem teeny in comparison.


 KNITWEAR, Chanel to Westwood is on at the FTM until 18th January 2015

To find out more about Cleo and Mark Butterfield visit their blog