Grab a Little Culture this Summer

If sitting in the sunshine seems a waste of your precious time this summer, then grab a bit of culture instead. There are just so many great shows and exhibitions happening over the next few months that it would be a real shame to miss them. So, with school almost out, in the words of the immortal TV show that seemed to haunt my childhood summers, why don’t you switch off your tv set (and computer, but read this first) and do something less boring instead?

Such as…

Booking some tickets to see a classic operetta.

The English National Opera is staging a version of the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus, re-imagined in an Art Deco setting. The comic story of revenge and seduction promises to be a visual spectacle, and anything that includes a song with a chorus praising Champagne is alright by me.

Checking out a Pop Art Exhibition.

Pauline Boty is one of the most enigmatic figures of the British Pop Art movement, and her work is worth a revival. Beautiful, super talented, and gone far too soon, Pauline’s work, including her tribute to Marilyn Monroe, ‘Colour her Gone’, is the subject of a fascinating exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery entitled Pauline Boty: Pop Artist and Woman. Much of the work on show has not been exhibited for 40years, so is definitely worth a look.

Relive the 1980s fashion and club culture.

Hot off the heels of the amazing David Bowie exhibition, the V&A is staging another must visit exhibition. ‘Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s‘ has over 85 outfits to showcase the coolest designs of what is usually considered a pretty uncool decade, from the likes of including Betty Jackson, Katharine Hamnett and John Galliano. If you love club culture, or are a fan of reactionary fashion, this is something you should not miss.

Remember a legend.

The Jewish Museum in London is hosting a moving tribute to the greatly missed Amy Winehouse. Entitled ‘Amy Winehouse – A family Portrait’ this exhibition features many personal items that belonged to the late, great singer, who died 2 years ago this month at the age of 27.  Family photographs and items from Amy’s onstage wardrobe are all on display, offering a warm and moving tribute to a much -loved and talented artist.

Grab a bargain designed by the ‘Rock and Roll Cobbler’

Popular shoe retailers Spartoo are fast becoming the place to find the best bargains in terms of designer shoes. Last month I showed you that you the fabulous range of Rupert Sanderson shoes that you could purchase for a fraction of their suggested retail price, and this month I’m turning my gaze towards the ‘Rock and Roll Cobbler’, the one and only Terry De Havilland.

Terry De Havilland has been making extraordinary shoes beloved of the stars since the 1960s, with Kate Moss, The Saturdays, Melanie C, Sienna Miller and Mischa Barton, amongst others, being huge fans of his Margaux wedges. Terry’s shoes always have a touch of the dramatic about them, the extra high wedge heel, the use of snakeskin, a real 70s aesthetic. And now you can find all his most vibrant designs at Spartoo with up to 60% off. This is just the perfect way to pick up a little bit of fashion heritage.

Famous fans

Mischa Barton

Amy Winehouse

Melanie C

The Saturdays

Kate Moss

Get the look

Sandals-Terry-de-Havilland MARGAUX 


LOLA RED / Fluro £ 150.50 

LUCY RED / Leather / Natural / Python






Gaultier’s Amy Winehouse tribute

It has upset Mitch Winehouse, but I think that Jean Paul Gaultier’s couture collection for Spring 2012  is a fitting fashion tribute to Amy. Full of models sporting Amy beehives and dressed in clothes that echoed her inimitable style, this is a collection that inspired by and celebrating Amy at her gorgeous peak, sassy, sexy and glamorous.

“I think Amy Winehouse was truly a fashion icon,” Gaultier says of the troubled star, who was found dead in July aged just 27. I totally agree with Gaultier. Amy oozed unique personal style and that is something that has had a profound influence on the way girls dress.Her collections for Fred Perry have been successful, and the dress she wore on the cover of Back to Black became an auction sensation and a part of rock and roll history.

This collection brings to my mind the Preen clad, triumphant Amy at the Brit awards, when she reigned supreme as best female singer.Zingy bright colours, bras peeking above shirts and tops, form-fitting pencil skirts inspired by Italian sirens of the 1950s – it’s all there in this loving tribute to a true style icon.