With Queen Elizabeth celebrating her 90th birthday, I just couldn’t resist revisiting this trip to England.
Gianni Versace exhibited his collection of history-making fashions at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London before his untimely and tragic death. It was my first time to tour the V&A and the memory is still with me.
I love London. I love the British. I love the Queen. I watched Diana’s wedding at least ten times. I cried for weeks after she died.
For five years of my working life I stayed in London for three weeks each year for a photo project. Each time I “played like” I lived there. On one of my visits I learned there was an exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum with gowns worn by Princess Diana. Designed by Gianni Versace. Nothing more had to be said.
The fact that J Lo’s cut-to-the-navel green gown was on display was an interesting bonus.
The Versace exhibit and the V&A Museum were exhilarating and mesmerizing. More than that, the experience was the beginning of my fascination with museum designer shows. I still seek out fashion exhibitions in London.
When Kensington Palace showed off Royal wear and jewels — from Queen Victoria and Albert, to Princesses Margaret and Diana, to Queen Elizabeth’s 60th Jubilee — I was there.
When Jean Claude Gaultier’s “runway show” of legendary work debuted at the Barbican Center in London in 2014, I was there.
That one was electrifying. Literally.
It was “fashion gone high-tech.”
Check out the video below and you’ll see what I mean. Male and female mannequins decked in Gaultier couture appeared to be living, breathing humans. I had to get close enough to touch them to find out if they were — or weren’t.
At first glance I thought the rows of mannequins were “painted people” — like those who pretend to be statues and show up at parks. The ones that expect you to drop coins in their hats. I had to literally get “in the face” of one of the “models” to see it wasn’t a “statue.”
Gaultier “himself” was there to narrate the show.
From the animated show to Gaultier’s Madonna collection, the show floors at the Barbican were filled with the unique and the bizarre.
Icons of the fashion world like Versace and Gaultier are hard acts to follow. Nevertheless, it’s time to return to London and I’m longing to see what’s next. In fact, the V&A is publicizing an exhibition entitled “Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear“ and they are offering a “Fashion Blogging Masterclass.” Sounds perfect to me.
See you there?
To learn more about Gaultier’s behind-the-scenes production at the Barbican: Gaultier at the Barbican
Visit the Barefoot Blogger to here her tales about life in France at barefootblogger.fr