Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Adieu et à Bientôt

Just a little post to say that I'm off travelling until September! I'm going to Hong Kong to visit a friend and from there we shall be exploring Vietnam and then Beijing which is all terribly exciting.

Unfortunately this means there may not be some posts for a while, but don't worry, I'll be sure to update you all on my return!

Have a wonderful August everyone and see you soon. Wish us luck!

KatieJane x

Saturday, 2 August 2014

The Barbican: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

Last Thursday evening I arrived at the Barbican in an air of thinly veiled excitement to see the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition. I'd been looking forwards to seeing the exhibition for some time and couldn't wait to see what pieces were going to be on display!

Everything started brilliantly. While in the ticket queue, a lady approached me and gave me a ticket, saying that a member of her party hadn't showed. Her generosity set my smile even more firmly on my face and so, clutching my ticket, I stepped into the world of Jean Paul Gaultier. 

The exhibition was theatrical to say the least. All around stood mannequins with lifelike projected faces, draped in glitzy costumes. Some spoke to you, while others sang in unearthly voices while you gazed up at their decadent attire. Like Alice down the rabbit hole, I was sucked into the fantastical realm of Gaultier. 

And what a world it was. I was surrounded by everything from beautiful couture and showgirl outfits worn by Kylie and Madonna, to the downright mythical- there was at least one mermaid outfit on display!*

My favourite photographer (Miles Aldridge) even made an appearance just before I rounded a corner and came face to face with a moving catwalk where mannequins glided by, displaying their finery. 

One of my favourite costumes was found in a section entitled 'Skin Deep' and was a glittering black exoskeleton, complete with arm bones. I also adored the huge headdresses atop the street-inspired punks, making them tower above the surrounding mannequins. 

The exhibition blew all my expectations out of the water (and trust me, I had high expectations!). It was fabulous from start to finish and really gave me an insight into the mind of Jean Paul Gaultier. The magic of the experience totally captivated me and I would strongly recommend getting down to the Barbican to experience it for your self before those life-like mannequins get up and walk away! 

*One mermaid had crutches which injected some unexpected humour into the display!

Friday, 1 August 2014

V&A: Wedding Dresses

On Wednesday, two of my good girlfriends and I hacked off to the V&A to see the much acclaimed exhibition, Wedding Dresses 1775-2014. I was incredibly excited- I tend to love the fashion exhibitions put on by the V&A and the chance to oggle everything from traditional victorian dresses, to haute couture dresses worn by the rich and famous was too good to miss. I mean, who doesn't love a good frock anyway?

Unfortunately for us, they didn't allow photography inside the exhibition, but I thought I'd mention some of my (more googleable) favourites anyway. Starting with Kate Moss' dress.

I'm sure you've seen the pictures- her wedding to Jamie Hince was splashed everywhere that you must have been blind to miss it. Personally, I've always thought the dress was pretty, but nothing particularly special. However, seeing the Galliano creation in the flesh (or should I say 'fabric'?) gave me an entirely different perspective.

1) It is stunning.

2) No, I mean really stunning.

What the tabloid pictures don't quite manage to pick up is the beautiful amount of detail covering the dress. The dress fades from creamy white down to a heavy rich gold, as sequins and beading pick out a phoenix feather design before pooling in a dense sparkling mass at the hem. The entire dress is embroidered and the patterns sewn into the veil are beautiful. The entire effect is magnificent!

In stark contrast to Kate Moss' dress, was that worn by Dita Von Teese at her wedding to Marilyn Manson. This was a startlingly purple dress with huge full skirts and an off the shoulders neckline, which gave the dress a obviously Vivienne Westwood flare. The colour stood out massively among the broadly more neutral dresses and the construction of the dress made it a work of art. I loved it, although have to admit, for a wedding it was definitely not the colour for me!

Another dress I found compelling was one made by Catherine Rayner in 1996 (and can be seen in the first photo of this post). I just loved the back of this dress, with it's huge bow, flowing down into the little train, although I personally wasn't such a fan of the front.

The exhibition was wonderful. It was fascinating to see not only these red carpet show stoppers, but the dresses of long forgotten country girls, royals and dead and buried ladies of status. I'm not sure I'd ever appreciated the complex evolution of such an important dress until this day!

However, all the dress envy the V&A inspired had worked up an appetite. Therefore India, Sarah and I headed over the road to Comptoir Libnais for a little Lebanese lunch, before rounding off our day with tea and coffee at the Royal Exchange. Yum!

All in all, I had a fantastic day out- I cannot recommend the V&A exhibition enough and so if you have time, you should definitely head down. You won't regret it!