David Bowie Is… Exhibition

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┬áI was lucky enough to get to see the David Bowie Is exhibition at the V&A. As I couldn’t make the press preview event, they very nicely let me go along the next time I was in London, as it happened I had a meeting at the V&A so I jumped at the chance to go. Like many of you I have grown up with David Bowie’s presence, my mum would play his records when I was a kid and as a child of the 80’s Labyrinth is always going to be my favourite film – I could recite the entire scrip by heart!

“The V&A has been given unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive to curate the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie. David Bowie is features over 300 objects including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, fashion, photography, film, music videos, set designs, BowieÔÇÖs own instruments and album artwork.

On display will be more than 300 objects brought together for the very first time Ziggy Stardust bodysuits (1972) designed by Freddie Burretti, photography by Brian Duffy; album sleeve artwork by Guy Peellaert and Jonathan Barnbrook; visual excerpts from films and live performances including The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), music videos such as Ashes to Ashes (1980) and set designs created for the Diamond Dogs tour (1974). Alongside these will be more personal items such as never-before-seen storyboards, handwritten set lists and lyrics as well as some of BowieÔÇÖs own sketches, musical scores and diary entries, revealing the evolution of his creative ideas.”

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I am finding writing about the exhibition difficult, because there is just so much I want to say about it. There are already many reviews and critiques of the exhibit, so instead I will tell you how I experienced it, as a Bowie fan (and not someone who works with museums, although it can be hard to separate the two).

Before I entered the exhibit, I was given a pair of headphones, this had me intruded, would it be audio commentary? I rounded the corner to me met with the famous Kansai Yamamoto wide leg jumpsuit, by this time I am just about ready to burst with excitement! The headphones spring to life and I delved head first into the early years of David Robert Jones’ musical career.

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I won’t go into too much detail as I wouldn’t want to offer spoilers to those of you who are yet to see it.┬á Amongst the song lyrics, photos, costumes and films there are surprises around every corner, tiny holes too peep through taking you to another world, beautifully timed videos which your headphones will belt out classic Bowie songs too, allowing you to loose yourself in the experience. This exhibition is huge, I would recommend 2 hours to really see it all, 3 if you want to read every little snippet. One detail I found charming was seeing the scraps of song lyrics, scribbles and alterations. How would it have been if the famous ‘Fashion, turn to the left…’ lyric had been kept as ‘Shop, shop turn to the left…’

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I am not usually one to be left gob-smacked, but entering the centre piece room of the exhibition, a huge auditorium really took my breath away. I was awe struck, at the sheer size, attention to detail and the drama of it all. If you are set to see this exhibition I would recommend you don’t look at any photos before hand as this is a surprise worth waiting for! I actually am itching to go back and spend more time there.

If you can’t make the exhibition the I can recommend picking up a copy of the book, I will have to order one online as it is massive and I couldn’t carry it all the way home. It is available on the website as is a selection of official merchandise- well it wouldn’t be a museum trip without a pencil and sharpener souvenir would it!

David Bowie is… Online

A Catch Up – New Worlds End Buys & Travels

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Where to start? I’ve been up to so much lately, traveling up and down the country with my new job. My iPhone has been a godsend, the camera is really good so I can still snap outfit shots without having to lug around my DSLR. That does mean you get random dodgy backgrounds, mostly public toilets! I was lucky enough to visit the V&A (of course I saw the Bowie exhibition) and stately home Canons Ashby, more on both of those in a separate post. I know what you really want to know is what I was doing at Worlds End!

After posting teasing snaps on Instagram (@SuperElevated) and Facebook I guess I should spill the beans on what I brought home with me. If you haven’t guessed already I got the huge Clomper Pirate Boots in brown on brown squiggle! I hadn’t planned on getting these actually, I thought I would get the Mock Croc Elevator court shoes however they just didn’t fit me, 5 too narrow and 6 far too big. They are a narrow fit and if you are a half size like me I think you will struggle with them. I wanted to try on all the new Gold Label shoes, as a duty to everyone who couldn’t get to the shop and needed sizing info (See how good to you guys I am, I tried on all those shoes just for you). I find the Clompers are a wide fit but they are a small fit due to the low vamp (bit where your toes go) so I would recommend you go up a size, they don’t fit the same as regular Pirate boots, I went for a 6 in these. The same for the Slave Clomper sandals, which are now available in a myriad of colours!

When I tried the Clomper boots on I was surprised how comfy they were, heavy yes, but once you get used to them they are so fun to stomp around in. Eye wateringly expensive but I couldn’t leave without them, simple as that and it’s not often you feel that way about a pair of shoes (lies, all lies). Alright, alright I do often feel that way about shoes, but can we times that by 10 for these!! I also got the dress I am wearing here, its called the Gigot dress and is on the Worlds End label, it’s available in white or black at the moment, however I also have it on the Gold Label in Union Jack print. I’ve wanted this for ages, it will be my summer staple. I also wanted something light and billowy to balance out the Clomper boots, no idea what else they are going to go with yet. I can add more info on all the new Gold Label shoes if anyone wants, just drop me a line, right I’m off to do some stomping!

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1. Fashion galleries at the V&A, 2. packing issues, 3&4. Wearing Vivienne Union Jack print Gable trousers, 5. Lichtenstein coffee, 6. Casual wearing Anglomania sweater dress, 7. Trying on Elevated Courts at Worlds End, 8. Westwood ribbons, 9. Bedpost carving at Canons Ashby (more on that soon), 10. Comfy Pirate Boots, 11. Cuppa with the gorgeous Zoe from Penny Blossoms blog, 12. Clompers!

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Beautiful Vivienne Westwood shoes!

A Vivienne Westwood Country Gent

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Vivienne Westwood ‘Savile’ jacket in tartan tweed,┬á with wool trousers and waistcoat. Velvet smoking slipper ‘Rocking Horse’ shoes, 1996. Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

A striking ensemble in the V&A fashion gallery. Classic Westwood tailoring featuring a ‘drunken’ tailored waistcoat and ‘Teddy Boy’ structured jacket. The tartan and velvet slippers for a real country gent look -with a twist!

This outfit always reminds me of my fabulous friend Chris as I could just see him wearing it. I also like seeing continued use of traditional tartans in Westwood work, the dark green, blues and greys have been a firm favourite Even this season the Menswear featured a stunning selection of suiting in the Black Watch tartan. The Smoking Slipper Rocking Horse shoe is not longer produced however the slipper style has been back with a bang this past year thanks to Mr Louboutin’s ‘Rollerball’ studded slipper. Westwood have produced the most stunning Union Jack printed slipper which would be the perfect finish to a dark tartan suit. I admit if they had come in smaller sizes I would have bought myself a pair. Good job I have so many male friends I can play dress up with!

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Do you ever dress up your friends in your mind? Or imagine who might have worn the clothes on display?

The Original Crinoline

Crinoline 1860-65, sprung steel frame covered with wool and linen, Victoria & Albert Museum, London

I saw this beautiful crinoline at the V&A during my last visit. Looking up close at all the wire involved, made from steel and how it would hang from the waist by a slim belt really makes you reaslise how uncomfortable, even painful they could have been. Yet wear them women did. It doesn’t seem to matter what decade or country you look at in history, there will always be people going to extreme lengths for fashion.