The V & A

Today, there aren’t a lot of pictures. I spent the afternoon  at the Victoria & Albert Museum with Vikki. Thanks to her I saw two incredible exhibitions for free. Thanks again Vikki.

These special exhibitions took all afternoon since they were clothing and, of course Vikki and I poured over each gown analyzing the cut, the fabric, the seaming, the details – well, you get the idea.

The first, Wedding Dresses 1775 – 2014 was beautiful and had a great many beautiful gowns. Unfortunately,  there was no photography allowed so, no pictures. The first dress in the exhibition was a beautifully simple creme silk almost like paper that was the most basic cut. The bodice was devoid of any decoration  and the skirt as simple as any 18th century gown I have seen.  I love the the elaborate 18th century gowns but the simple ones like this are my favorite.  The sleeves were, of course, to the elbow but, shaping by the dressmaker was a work of art.  An early 19th century empire gown of muslin and embroidered very handsomely.  The cut was exquisite with little to decoration except for the embroidery. It had a fairly long train.  I think the element that stuck with me was the banding of the neckline and the high waist. The sleeves were beautifully fitted.

There was one Worth dress from the 1880’s. To be expected (both because it was Worth and late Victorian), it was heavy with detail and exquisitely fitted and shaped to the body. These descriptions don’t do justice so, I will let this go except to say that Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall’s she wore when she appeared in public after her wedding to the Prince of Wales was part of the exhibition and it was so beautiful.  The detail you could not see in any publication was this incredibly delicate and light gold embroidery. It was stunning.

The next exhibition was The Glamour of Italian Fashion. This traced the development of Italian fashion design and its many elements since WW II.  The beautiful garments told the story and included a look at the prominent designers from the post war to today and even cons7dered the future of the Italian fashion industry.

Tonight’s play was the The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre in the West End.  It is Trey Parker and Matt Stone irreverent and sometimes dirty look at religion, musical comedy and how we accept each other (or don’t accept each other). The star of this production is Gavin Creel who also starred in the original Broadway production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. I have seen the national tour twice but, this production was even better.  The cast was excellent in every respect and delivered the production with clarity.

This has been an extraordinary first week. I’m tired though and need to sleep.

The Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria & Albert Museum

Outside the Prince of Wales Theatre

Outside the Prince of Wales Theatre