Fashion At The Wednesbury Museum And Art Gallery

It’s always lovely when a fashion exhibition pops up virtually on your doorstep. The Hodson Shop collection was one such delight, and this summer I have found a small fashion exhibition in the town of my youth, Wednesbury, at the town’s beautiful museum and art gallery.

The exhibition is called ‘Clothes!’ and is taking place in the museums Nostalgia Rooms. It features a range of pieces from the 1959s, 1960s and 70s, along with memorabilia and old photographs of West Bromwich, Wednesbury and the surrounding areas from the same era.

I love the clothes that are featured, these pieces are not couture or designer pieces, but are instead the sort of clothes that your mother or grandmother might have owned and worn, really pieces of social history displayed within a context. I loved the purple maxi dress with long sleeves and high neck, my mom was a bridesmaid in 1973 and wore something very similar, and a dress of a similar colour that came from the 1950s, but would still look good today due to the classic style.

The 1960s explosion of fashion is well represented, with lots of printed and plain shift dresses in the style of Mary Quant and Pierre Cardin. And, just to prove that fashion is cyclical, and that styles do come around again and again, the exhibition has a maxi style dress and a tea dress that may be 1970s in origin, but certainly wouldn’t look out of place on today’s High Street.

The Clothes! exhibition is in the Nostalgia Rooms at the Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery until the end of 2017. Entrance is free, and you could also check out the permanent toy exhibition and the beautiful Ruskin pottery whilst you are there,

Click here for more information.

Valentino:Master of Couture is coming to Somerset House

I am super excited by an exhibition that is going to be hitting London, specifically Somerset House, this November. Valentino:Master of Couture is a major new exhibition that will celebrate the life and work of the legendary designer, with a focus on his glorious haute couture pieces, as worn by some of the world’s most famous and beautiful women, including Julia Roberts, Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Sophia Loren. With dresses well known from red carpet appearances, to couture that has graced the world’s biggest and best couture catwalks, and with the special appearance of privately commissioned pieces, this exhibition promises to bring all the beauty and elegance of the Valentino to a captive audience.

Lorenzo Agius Valentino with models 2007 copyright Lorenzo Agius @www.aandrphotographic.co.uk

The list of dresses that will make up part of this exhibition are breathtaking. Think Julia Roberts in the classic 1982 vintage black and white Valentino on the night she won her Oscar for Erin Brockovich, or Jackie Onassis in a simple white shift dress that she wore to marry Aristotle in 1968. Another highlight is sure to be a royal wedding dress worn by one of the chicest of Princesses, the pearl encrusted ivory creation worn by Princess Marie- Chantal of Greece in 1995. And then, there are of course, Valentino red dresses to admire and adore, the iconic creations of a master atelier.

What I really love is how this exhibition is being organised. Somerset House’s Embankment Galleries will be transformed into a catwalk with a difference, the visitors will be ‘models’ parading along a 60 metre runway admiring the audience, who are all Valentino couture clad, providing a visual history of the label from the 1950s to today. This will be thematic rather than chronological, items will be grouped together under categories like colour, or volume.The exhibition will also offer a behind the scenes look at the work of the atelier through films that have been especially created for the exhibition, along with a chance to view the Valentino Garavani virtual museum.

Valentino with models 2007 copyright Lorenzo Agius @www.aandrphotographic.co.uk

Valentino has himself said ‘…Each of these designs have a beautiful story…’ and Somerset House is certainly a beautiful setting, meaning that together this will be the fashion event of the winter, a much anticipated fashion exhibition for lovers of couture and all things exquisite. I personally can’t wait for it’s arrival.

The Valentino:Master of Couture Exhibition will run from November 29th 2012 to March 3rd 2013

Tickets cost £12.50.

For further information, click here.

Valentino Garavani and Natalia Vodianova 2012 copyright Cathleen Naundorf