Couture show at the V and A

I went to see the Couture show at the VIctoria and Albert Museum last night. They close at 10:00 on Friday night, so I can go there after DH gets home from work and can watch the kids. When I arrived, I saw that they happened to have a talk scheduled with Zandra Rhodes. She’s done a lot of work that I find interesting, and some that I actually like, so I figured I might as well go and listen. The talk was actually about her work designing sets and costumes for the opera rather than her work in fashion, but it was still a great talk. She showed some drawings of costume concepts, then the finished product, demonstrating the changes that she had to make to accommodate the reality of her work. Many of the stars of opera are large people who may not be very happy about displaying their body parts, so often the final costumes were much more modest than the original concepts. She also mentioned that all jewelry in opera is actually painted leather, because the performers can’t be distracted the noise that metal jewelry can make. It was interesting to hear how practical realities alter her concepts to produce a finished product.

The couture show has some wonderful samples, including some that you don’t see very often. I especially liked the Balenciaga suits and dresses. The presentation was rather uninspired, though, and the lighting was abysmal. It was hard to see any real detail on many of the clothes. Some other shows that I’ve seen recently in New York were much better as far as the presentation went. The Poiret show at the Met and the Fashion in Colors show at the Cooper-Hewett had much better lighting and more interesting presentation. The presentation and the V and A show really reminded me of fairly low-budget shows at the Museum at FIT. I love the V and A to the point where I chose a flat that was within walking distance of it, so perhaps I had elevated expectations for this show and I’m a little disappointed that they were not met.

I am working on sewing something, but it’s sort of complicated, and life keeps getting in the way. It will get done eventually.


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