Who doesn’t love the Jazz Age, that decade of zinging fashion and wild behaviour that gave us the flapper, the drop-waist dress, silk pyjamas and Art Deco style? The Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey, just along from the Shard, knows we can’t resist it, so they’ve brought together a stunning display of haute couture and ready to wear fashion from 1919 to 1929 and teamed it with a fascinating series of talks about 1920’s life and style. Continue reading
Back in the 1950’s Ottavio and Rosita Missoni did something remarkable – they made machine-knitted fabric into cutting edge fashion. Their company, founded in 1953, brought together Ottavio’s love of art, design and colour with Rosita’s understanding of fashion to create an eclectic combination of colour and style – one that’s been sought after ever since. This summer there’s an exhibition of their work at the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey so Yannick and I went to take a look. Continue reading
I wonder who found the first pearl? It was a long time ago – pearls have been around since Roman times, gradually going from having religious connotations to being used as symbols of love or grief by the European aristocracy in the nineteenth century. The Victoria and Albert Museum’s autumn blockbuster exhibition, Pearls, which opened yesterday, puts these fabulous jewels from the past and present on display. Continue reading
This week Yannick and I headed down to Borough Market, beloved of tourists and foodie bloggers. It was absolutely packed with people, even though we went on a weekday, and we soon gave up any idea of wandering round the food stalls and headed instead towards our real objective – the Bunkaya Zakkaten/Paul Smith collaboration pop-up shop. Continue reading
This has been a busy week for shows in London so a lot of the events in Jewellery Week, in which designers from across the UK showcase their work, passed me by. But I did manage to catch the final flagship event, Treasure, in the Embankment Gallery at Somerset House, showing until 16th June. Continue reading
I’ve been wanting to go to the Fan Museum in Greenwich for ages but, frustratingly, something always seems to get in the way. My most recent near miss was a few weeks ago when I was supposed to go with the Japan Society but had to pull out because of heavy snow. But then Yannick came to the rescue with a curator-led tour that included tea in the pretty little Orangery facing the garden. Continue reading
I’ve been to take a look at Dover Street Market, Rei Kawakubo’s six-storey ‘anti-flagship’ store in Mayfair. It was my first visit, though I remember the fuss when she opened it in 2004. It was inspired by Kensington Market, a scruffy, rambling indoor fashion bazaar of young designers, which had closed the year before. A scruffy Mayfair fashion warehouse? Showing other designers as well as Kawakubo’s own ranges? Ridiculous, they said. But they were wrong. Continue reading
This is my Ichimatsu doll. Isn’t she pretty? She was given to me by an Osaka gentleman whose daughters once spent Christmas at our house. She lives in her box most of the time but at Christmas she is allowed out to play.
For the past three days the cavernous space of Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre has been transformed into a cutesy-quirky pink’n’fluffy sweet and cuddly fantasy kingdom. Welcome to kawaii-land, home of lacy petticoats, furry animals and rainbow hair. No, it’s not for children, it’s for grown-up girls who like to dress up like Alice in Wonderland with added bling. Continue reading
Lolita fashion is that oh-so-sweet little-girl-in-a children’s-picture-book way of elaborate dressing-up that originated in Harajuku in Tokyo and has spread round the world. Japan Matsuri in October had a Lolita fashion display by the Tea Party Club and Hyper Japan, coming up at Earls Court from 23-25 November, promises us a Kawaii style fashion show including Sweet and Classic Lolita fashion, Wa-Lolita, Kawaii Kimono style, Gal, Pop-Kei (including fairy -kei), and Pastel Goth.
Confused? Not to worry. The V&A have a small but very focused Lolita fashion exhibition called Kitty and the Bulldog which will help you get a grip. Continue reading