Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fashions in London

Yesterday I took myself off to London for the day.

It was a beautiful sunny day and after a cuppa at the Festival Hall I wandered off along the south of the river, past many sights, to the Fashion and Textile Museum.

It was my first visit here and I'd taken Gina's advice to go on a Wednesday when there's a free talk at 1pm.  The talk and the exhibition were fascinating, tracing the history of 20th century art in textiles.

It's hard to pick favourites but here are a few:

1950's Designs by Andy Warhol

Screen prints by Estelle Laverne (1947), Ben Rose (1951) and Angelo Testa (1947)

1955 dress designed by Clare McCardell in a fabric designed by Picasso 
and these gorgeous dresses from Horrockses in the 1940s and 50s made from textiles designed by Alastair Morton and Graham Sutherland.

I also loved the smaller exhibition by Sarah Campbell 'From Start to Finish' (of course I knew I would as I'm a big fan of her work) - a room showing a film about her and her work and huge boards like this on the wall showing the journey, from start to finish, of a design  (this one is for M & S bedding 2013).

After spending quite some time in the museum I then wandered up to Somerset House as I wanted to see the Boro exhibition.  These are items made by the Japanese poor who couldn't afford the new cotton cloth so literally pieced together scraps and rags to make clothing and household goods.

Some were quite geometric whereas some really revealed the original shapes of the scraps of cloth.

Outside Somerset house, a costume drama was being filmed, so I stayed and watched for a while. 

I have no idea what it was, or if any of the actors are famous, but it was fascinating to watch and the costumes were amazing.

Finally I made my way to John Lewis, really to look at curtains for the lounge but I seemed to end up in the dress fabric department and ended up coming home with this little lot (and no curtains!)

There's a distinct 1950s influence in the fabric I bought isn't there!


Jo said...

How lovely to have a day out in London, I wish we lived close enough to do that. You chose some wonderful exhibitions to visit, it looks like you had a fabulous time.

alice ( said...

Ooh, I really love how your museum trip influenced your shopping! Isn't it wonderful when we are just filled with inspiration? x

Maureen Heywood said...

What a great day you had!
Well, before we came to NZ I loved my M&S buys but got a huge surprise to see that delicious coloured sample board - would love some bedding from them!
The Boro exhibition would have been a must see for me, these are so beautiful.

Miriam Weaver said...

I'm hoping to get to see the Boro exhibition, I was shown the catalogue yesterday it looks wonderful.

Celia Hart said...

That looks like a perfect trip! And the photos of the costume-drama look as if you went through a time warp when you came out of the Boro Exhibition.

I like your choice of fabrics, they coordinate well together too. xx

elaine said...

Sounds like you had a lovely self-indulgent day. I love those fabrics all very 50's.

Gina said...

I'm so gald you enjoyed the exhibition and went for the talk. Your fabric purchases look just like they could be Horrock's fabrics!


Looks like a great day - I've never been to the Fashion and Textile Museum so I really must! Your purchases were obviously influenced by your visit! Wonder what they were filming?? xCathy