Well it’s that time of year; Halloween is over, fireworks are planned, and all that’s left to see you through to Christmas is the promise of mulled wine at the recession-friendly Christmas party. But fear not! As I come laden with top recommendations for the misty days and lengthening evenings of November.
Vogue covers 1 and 3 from A Sip of Sarsaparilla
First up, next Friday the V&A are hosting a fabulous conference entitled Hidden in Plain Sight: The Art of Hollywood as part of the Hollywood Costume exhibition. Unless you’ve been living in a ditch for the past couple of months the Hollywood Costume show should be well on your radar, with show-stoppers ranging from Dorothy’s ruby slippers to the Ming the Merciless ensemble there really is something for everyone. Not to mention the enormously innovative exhibition design that truly brings the subject matter to life.
The conference will bring together international Hollywood costume designers with exhibition curator Professor Deborah Nadoolman Landis to explore many areas of costume design, from the role UK art schools have played in creating designers for Hollywood to the unique design of the exhibition itself. The panels will feature Oscar winner Lindy Hemming and a host of other luminaries including costume and creature designer Vin Burnham. Hope to see you there!
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Art of Hollywood, Friday 9th November at the Victoria & Albert Museum from 10 – 17.15. You can see the full programme HERE.
Book your tickets RIGHT HERE!
Good news for anyone who missed the September release of the brilliant biopic Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel is that as of October 29th it’s out on DVD. The story takes the form of a chronological journey through Vreeland’s life from Belle Époque Paris to New York in the 70s and 80s with lashings of hedonism and glamour thrown in for good measure. It charts her incredible career, starting out at Harper’s Bazaar, going on to Editor-in-Chief at Vogue and finally consultant to the Costume Institute at the MET where she inaugurated the concept of the fashion exhibition as we know it today (albeit with slightly less historical accuracy and slightly more high drama).
Vreeland herself never let the truth get in the way of a good story (while that phrase could have been coined for her she preferred the term ‘faction’), and her stories have become part of the myth surrounding her. The blurring of life and work, style with substance and her quotable bon mots (“the best thing about London is Paris”) all appear in abundance throughout the film. As a documentary the film has been criticised by some for not paying enough attention to Vreeland’s questionable parenting, but as a portrait of a bona fide fashion legend crammed full of beautiful imagery and memorable quotes it can’t be beaten. It could also be the case that the closeness of the director – Vreeland’s granddaughter-in-law, Lisa Immordino Vreeland – to the Vreeland family may have put her off from delving into these murkier waters.
Anyone who is a fan of Iris Apfel or the late Anna Piaggi and Isabella Blow will adore this look at one of fashion history’s true innovators and most original thinkers and dressers. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel is hugely inspiring and is a must-see for anyone interested in the world of fashion and style. The DVD also comes complete with added Vreelandisms in the form of deleted scenes.
Nab yourself a copy HERE!
Finally, as of 20th November the Breese Little gallery in Clerkenwell will be hosting the show Forget Nostalgia – A Little Theatre of Self exploring photography’s ability to trap and record time by recreating Victorian photographs. A solo show by Clarisse d’Arcimoles, she will be reconstructing a local photographer’s studio from a century ago and using a variety of styles, characters and backdrops to encourage the viewer to follow the historical photographic journey of women and their victories of emancipation.
Having studied Set Design for Performance before her MA in Photography at Central Saint Martins, d’Arcimoles’ projects fuse her two interests by creating works that are staged specifically for the camera, exploring ways of documenting the performance of art itself.
Forget Nostalgia – A Little Theatre of Self at the Breese Little gallery from 20th November – 19th December.