Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Club To Catwalk London Fashion In The 1980's Exhibition - V&A Museum

Earlier in the year i went to the 'Club To Catwalk' Exhibition with a friend whilst we were at the 'Fashion Festival' blogged here.....http://laurajadejackson.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/fashion-festival-v-museum.html
This exhibition gives you the chance to discover the creative explosion of London fashion in the 1980s in a major exhibition at the V&A. Through more than 85 outfits, Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s showcases the bold and exciting new looks by the most experimental young designers of the decade, including Betty Jackson, Katharine Hamnett, Wendy Dagworthy and John Galliano. This exhibition was on from 10th July 2013 - 16th February 2014.
The exhibition traces the emerging theatricality in British fashion as the capital’s vibrant and eclectic club scene influenced a new generation of designers. Also celebrating iconic styles such as New Romantic and High Camp, and featuring outfits worn by Adam Ant and Leigh Bowery, the exhibition explores how the creative relationship between catwalk and club wear helped reinvent fashion, as reflected in magazines such as i-D and Blitz and venues including Heaven and Taboo.
The ’80s saw the explosion of the London club scene. Specialist club ‘nights’ offered opportunities for dressing up in the company of a like-minded crowd. Stevie Stewart of BodyMap explained that ‘each group of people, whether they were fashion designers, musicians or dancers, filmmakers, living together and going out together had a passion for creating something new that was almost infectious’.
Early clubs such as Billy’s, Blitz and the Club for Heroes were small and attracted a selective crowd. As the decade progressed, venues such as the Camden Palace and one-off warehouse parties began to attract much larger audiences. Although less intimate, they perpetuated the creative link between music, club and catwalk. This symbiotic relationship remained the defining characteristic of 1980s style.



In the early ’80s, London fashion began to create a stir internationally. Fashion shows took place in New York and Japan. One breakthrough event, titled ‘London Goes to Tokyo’, included many of the designers featured here and in the upstairs gallery.
The inventiveness of London design owed much to the excellence of the city’s arts education. Colleges such as St Martin’s, the Royal College of Art and Hornsey College of Art offered advanced training in the fundamentals of fashion design, while also encouraging individuality.
At night, young designers’ imaginations were sparked by a vibrant London club scene. John Galliano recalled, ‘Thursday and Friday at St Martin’s, the college was almost deserted. Everybody was at home working on their costumes for the weekend’. Designer Georgina Godley remembers, 'Young London was all about taking risks and creating something out of nothing through passion and ambition'.


Overall, it was a great exhibition full of fashion from many eras. My friend and I really enjoyed it, I think one of the great things about living in London is all the things going on, you can never say "there's nothing to do", there's always something. I'm not a regular museum goer, but when there's something fashion related on, they're usually great and I always come out having really enjoyed myself and learning new things, which is always a plus! 

So if you're in London, keep a look out for any up and coming fashion exhibitions, they're always worth a visit and if you're a student you can usually get a discount too!
Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Pearls Exhibition - V&A Museum 2014

 Sorry for the severe lack of posts recently, I've just been so busy with university this year that I haven't had time to do any posts.
Earlier in the year I went to the Pearls exhibition at the V&A Museum with my mum. Whenever she comes to visit me in London, we always try to do something cultural. I saw an advert for this exhibition and I knew we'd both enjoy it as we both love and live in pearls.
This exhibition gives you the chance to experience the beauty and allure of pearls which across centuries and cultures have long been associated with wealth, royalty and glamour. This autumn the V&A and the Qatar Museums Authority explore the history of pearls from the early Roman Empire through to present day. This exhibition was on from 21st September 2013 - 19th January 2014.
Pearls are a worldwide phenomenon going back millennia. Fascination for these jewels of the sea transcends time and borders. Natural pearls have always been objects of desire due to their rarity and beauty. Myths and legends surrounded them, chiefly to explain the mystery of their formation. Goldsmiths, jewellers and painters exploited their symbolic associations, which ranged from seductiveness to purity, from harbingers of good luck in marriage to messengers of mourning.
This exhibition is one of the best exhibitions I've been to, along with the Valentino one, blogged about here.... (http://laurajadejackson.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/valentino-master-of-couture-exhibition.html)
I actually learned a lot of facts about pearls which I never knew before. There was so much information to take in throughout the exhibition, as well as the chance to see some amazing jewellery, tiaras, and other pearled treasures. It took us about 2 hours to walk through the whole exhibition, it does take a bit of time as there's so much to read and look at, but it was well worth it! One of the most important facts I learnt was exactly how a pearl is formed......
 Wonders Of Nature
~ ~ ~
In recent years, the focus of scientific scrutiny has been on the pearl itself and its formation. X-ray images have revealed how natural saltwater pearls are formed by the intrusion of a parasite such as a worm or piece of sponge into the shell’s mantle, the organ which produces nacre (mother-of-pearl). The parasite displaces cells to form a cyst, over which the nacre grows.
In principle any mollusc with a shell can create a pearl, from the giant clam to the land snail. The variety of colours and shapes of pearls is unimaginable, ranging from the exotic pink conch pearl, the brown and black pearl, the blue-green abalone pearl and the Melo pearl with its orange hues.

Pearl Fishing In The Gulf
~ ~ ~
Natural oyster pearls were fished in the Gulf from as early as the first millennium BC until the decline of the trade by the mid 20th century. The procedure of harvesting oysters has remained unchanged over centuries. The diver’s equipment was basic, a loin cloth, nose clip of tortoiseshell or wood and a leather sheath to hold the oysters.
The diver descended with two ropes: one attached to a net for collecting the oysters (about twelve per dive), the second attached to a stone weighing five to seven kilograms to speed up descent, with a loop for the diver’s foot. When he was ready, the puller attentive to his signals would let the two ropes run free. Within seconds the diver would reach the bottom, sometimes as deep as 22 metres, and let go of the rope carrying the weight.
Little do the magnificent necklaces of natural Gulf pearls, arranged according to scale and lustre, reveal the effort it takes to assemble such masterpieces. 2000 oyster shells need to be opened before finding a single beautiful pearl.
Pearl Trading In The Gulf
~ ~ ~
The trade in pearls played an important role for countries along the coast from Saudi Arabia to Dubai, especially Bahrain and Qatar.
By the early 19th century the Gulf was the major global supplier of natural pearls. Demand reached unprecedented heights as high quality ‘oriental’ pearls were much sought after by the great jewellery houses of Europe. The golden age of Gulf pearls was between 1850 and 1930. Today the natural pearl has become a rare gem.

Pearl Jewellery Through The Ages
~ ~ ~
Across the Roman Empire jewels with pearls were a desirable and expensive luxury, a symbol of wealth and status. In medieval Europe pearls appear as symbols of authority on regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary in jewellery, symbolizing purity and chastity. By the Renaissance, portraits show that nobles and affluent merchants were adorned with pearls, the symbolism became increasingly secular.
By the 17th and 18th centuries pearls had become lavish adornments, often worn in a seductive manner. They were also demonstrations of high social rank. By the early 19th century pearls embellished more intimate or ‘sentimental’ jewellery to convey personal messages celebrating love or expressing grief.
The opulence and ceremony enjoyed by the courts of Europe in the 19th century was favourable for pearls, necklaces of all lengths were fashionable, from long ropes to chokers.
In Paris, jewellers working in the Art Nouveau style were fascinated by the extraordinary shaped pearls and transformed them into breathtaking interpretations of nature.
In the ‘Roaring Twenties’ urban life changed fashions, women wore short sleeveless slim-line dresses and pearl sautoirs dangled down to the waist and beyond.
Authority and Celebrity
~ ~ ~
In the East and the West tastes in jewellery may vary but the significance of pearls remains the same, with pearls worn as symbols of power and an indicator of rank in society. They were much revered objects of desire due to the rarity of natural pearls.
Rulers wore crowns adorned with pearls to demonstrate dynastic authority and the prosperity of their lands. In Russia, Iran, China and India, ostentatious displays of pearls formed an integral part of the regalia of ruling monarchs.
In Europe, royal and aristocratic women wore rare pearls mounted on splendid tiaras to dazzle and impress. As old social conventions were overturned, pearls adorned the necklines of ladies of fame and fortune.

The screen goddesses of Hollywood movies and, more recently, fashionable, media-friendly celebrities have helped to uphold the unfailing glamour of pearls.

 Elizabeth Taylor

Marylin Monroe
Audrey Hepburn
Princess Diana
Kate Middleton
Today the range of aesthetics in pearl jewellery is boundless and the variety of pearls quite remarkable. Whether natural, cultured or imitation, pearls continue to be fashionable and are being worn by increasing numbers of women. Pearls are a symbol of femininity and timeless jewels befitting at any event or occasion.
My mum has always worn pearls since I can remember, whether it be a necklace, bracelet or earrings and I think my love of pearls has stemmed from my mum. My two favourite pieces of pearl jewellery that I own are my pearl earrings which were a birthday present from my mum and my pearl necklace which was a birthday present from my great grandmother. Here's a picture of me wearing both pieces below....
Invest in some pearls for yourself! They're classic and timeless and they will never go out of fashion.
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Fashion Festival - V&A Museum

On the 19th October 2013 I attended the 'Fashion Festival' at the V&A Museum which was devised by young people for young people and was FREE (which is always a plus) for people aged 16-24. It was a chance to discover the world of fashion through talks, workshops and demonstrations from industry experts.
As the event was free, it was very busy as you can imagine, especially for students in London, a free event is highly attended! So most of the things taking place throughout the day had queues of up to 50 people. However, only about 20 were allowed into each session. My friend and I went to a few and got turned away as there were too many people. However, we did attend the Shoe Design workshop with Rakish Heels, where we found out the principles of shoe design and got to create our own design. This picture was taken during the workshop......my friend and I are sat at the far end of the table on the right hand side!
Below is a picture of my shoe design from the workshop.
Below is a picture of my friend and I with our shoe designs.... :)
There was a full programme of what was taking place throughout the day which was as follows:
- Careers in the Fashion Industry
- Portfolios and Business Start Up Advice
- ASOS, Fashion Marketing & Journalism
- Putting on a Fashion Show
- Marketing and Trend Predicting
- In Conversation with Maria Grachvogel
- Shoe Design
- In Conversation with Henry Holland
- Being a Freelance Fashion Designer
- New Designer's Showcase
- Fashion Photography
Taster Workshops:
- Shoe Design with Rakish Heels
- Fashion Photography with Anomalous Visuals
- Fashion Illustration with Stuart McKenzie
- New Fibres & Fabrics with Claudine Rousseau
Advice Sessions:
- Jane Francis (Lecturer at CCM & LCF)
- Lorraine Mitchell (Menswear Lecturer)
- Jane Bowler (Fashion Design & Jeweller to many celebrities such as Rita Ora & Azealia Banks)
- Juliana Sissons (Fashion Designer, Knitwear Expert, Pattern Cutter & Lecturer)
- Suzie Lee (Knitwear Designer)
- Alex Brownless (Co-founder of ArtsThread)
- Pattern Cutting Master Class
- MAC Cosmetics Master Class
 It was a great day and if there's any other events on like this whilst I'm still living in London, I will definitely be going and I highly recommend them to everyone!
Thanks for reading :)