18 July Fashion and Textile Museum Exit the King

I must confess, I am tired. This trip seems to be getting harder and harder. My age isn’t what it used to be. I am looking forward to the long weekend. Expect I will take it easy so I can make it to the end.

After class this morning, I went with a few students to the Fashion and Textile Museum. It is on Bermondsey Street. We went to Euston Station and thought we were going one way but wound up in another direction. In the end, we got there. It was a really great little area. It seems it is being restored. Just an impression. The museum was a quick walk from the tube station at London Bridge. We had to walk through a tunnel that was quite wonderful, all brick.

The museum itself is small and they have no permanent collection and the exhibition on at present represents the work of designer Orla Kiely. She is Irish and heavily influenced by 1960’s and 70’s design. It shows in her work. Much of her work begins as pattern and she began primarily with textiles and accessories. She eventually expanded into clothing and household goods. Personally, I was not a big fan of the work. Reminded me too much of the avocado and harvest gold kitchens of the 70’s. Her pattern design is very reminiscent of Marimekko, a Finnish based design company. However, their work was more in the pop art style in terms of color.

I browsed through the gift shop, said goodbye to the students and headed back. There was a gallery on the way down I wanted to check out. It had nice pieces included some Chagalls of all things. Quite an number of the pieces were affordable but nothing said, “take me home to Terry”.

Back at the dorm, I decided to lay down for a bit and that helped.

I went early to the National to meet Christine and have some dinner. The play tonight is Exit the King. It is the first time the National is presenting a work by this playwright. The piece is from the absurdist tradition and premiered in 1962. The production was stunning visually and the acting, of course, first rate. I have never seen a production of this play so, I was lucky to have this be the first. This was the second preview. Press night is the 25th.

After the show, we walked across the bridge to Embankment to take the underground back to the dorm. It was a beautiful night and the theatre and the building over the station was light up. Made for a nice end to the day.

The entrance to Euston Station, not Euston Square but just Euston. That has caused confusion earlier in the trip since they are side by side. This is Robert Stephenson an early rail and civil engineer.

Entrance to the Fashion and Textile Museum.

I thought these tin boxes with her pattern design reminded me of Shaker boxes.

The plant holders, I really liked.

Not a big fan of the clothes. Most of these are recent 2000’s.

Detail of some of the clothes.

One of her first and perhaps most successful accessories was handbags.

As I headed back to the London Bridge tube station, I found the Chard, an iconic building on the London skyline. This is the closest I ever been to it.

At first this tunnel seemed a little scary and foreboding but, the brickwork is quite beautiful.

Some of the marketing for Exit the King.

A rehearsal photo from Exit the King. Since it is in previews there doesn’t seem to be any production photos yet.

Walking across the Gold Jubilee Bridge to the north bank. Don’t know the name of the building that is lit up.

Looking back. The blue lit building is the National Theater.