Tuesday, 14 September 2010

London #4

The London stories are not finished yet. Nearly though. Soon I can go back to writing enthtralling tales about sewing trousers and having the cutting out process marred by mysterious patches of cooking oil on the living room floor following someone's packing for home economics.
Undoubtedly the Victoria and Albert Museum is more interesting. We visited this museum early the next morning, and were eagerly waiting outside the doors at the train station entrance as they opened. This is a very good trick, as the museum was relatively quiet at this hour. The delay for the bag checking was brief, and we made a bee-line for the fashion exhibit. (My husband vanished somewhere in the direction of the ironwork - this is a versatile museum)
There were interesting items of clothing from different eras on display. I was very taken with this 1940's suit.

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We decided not to visit the Grace Kelly clothing exhibition ($$), as we were eager to look at the permanent textile collection.
This was truly amazing. In this room, you pull out frames where textiles are sandwiched under glass.
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Later rooms have a similar arrangement with drawers. We spent hours here. I focussed on the very old fabrics - 12th century!, the European embroideries and the laces.
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You could visit this display every day for a year and not see everything.
Eventually, I was dragged away from the textiles, and we looked at the costume section. I really enjoyed this too. I was particularly impressed to see Dame Edna Everage's opera house hat, in which she met the Queen, although Louis the 14th's ballet costume was pretty cool as well.
Ruthie had a train to catch, and Hen was visiting in the afternoon, so after lunch, Elizabeth and I went to Liberty.
There are far too many people on Bond St and Oxford St IMO. Walking pace is about 1km per hour and you cannot see where you are going. I found this a bit overwhelming.
It was a relief to enter Liberty. I enjoyed looking at the designer clothes with Elizabeth. She tried on a few Vivienne Westood pieces, in which she looked terrific. These clothes are much more impressive close up than in a magazine. The aging drug addict styling has always put me off!

Naturally we spent some time in the fabric and haberdashery section. I bought a piece of tana lawn in a fish print as a souvenir. I had fancied the strawberry thief print, but in the colourway I fancied, it was badly printed, with the colours misplaced by about 2mm - rather disappointing. It took over half an hour to have my fabric cut, although there was only one person in front of me, and 2 people serving (actually chatting amongst themselves, but we could call it serving). This was also disappointing.
I had planned to buy a Liberty scarf as a gift for my mum, but not only did I not really fancy any on display, but they ranged in price from 115 to 290 pounds. I was too stingy to pay this for a scarf that I did not particularly like.
After a very nice afternoon tea at a Scandinavian coffee shop, I released Elizabeth from her tour guide duties. I made her ride in the top of a double decker bus before allowing this release. This had been an ambition of mine since I was about 4 years old, and I enjoyed it very much. (Sometimes I am easily pleased).

4 comments:

Handmade said...

I'm pleased to hear that the double deckers are still there - or did they just keep the tourist ones? V&A - wow - what a treasure!

Sharon said...

Love that suit, will we some of those lines on a future creation.

Mary Nanna said...

I remember going to V and A too on my travels and spending a lot of time in the texile rooms. I got "fabricked out" in about an hour though, which surprised me, maybe because I couldn't take it home with me and do something with it afterwards!

BTW - it was your version of the Burda denim skirt which inspired me to get around to tracing it for my sister! I ran out of time to credit you in my blogpost because I had a little child behind me who was running round with the scissors yelling "sharp sharp' so I hit the post button and went back to toddler duty.

oh and PS I LOVE the aging washed up drug addled hip look, although my version of it would be very watered down. I think Vivienne Westwood is amazing.

Suit Yourself Couture said...

Karen,
The suit is just beautiful. Do you have more pictures? I would love to see the front. How about a sole post on it?
Patricia