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Italian Glamour and Style

Italian Glamour and Style

Fashion Retrospective at V&A

1st April 2014  Fashion from the post-war 1940′s period to the current day are highlighted in The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014 at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Sponsored by Bulgari, fabulous heritage jewels once owned by Elizabeth Taylor are also on display. Creations from designers synonymous with Italian artisanal tradition include Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Missoni, Versace, Gianfranco Ferre, Mila Schön, Simonetta, Prada, Pucci, and Dolce & Gabbana among others.

Fashion Show in Sala Bianca 1955

Fashion Show in Sala Bianca 1955

The exhibition traces Italy’s rich and influential contribution to fashion – a contribution that extended around the world, and particularly influenced film stars like Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor, who became style ambassadors for luxurious Italian clothing. The Glamour of Italian Fashion focuses on the exceptional quality of techniques, materials and expertise for which Italy has become renowned. The country’s status as manufacturer and exporter of stylish and well-made fashion and textiles is linked to the strength of its traditional industries including spinning, dyeing, weaving, cutting and stitching; some of these traditions have been practised in regions around Italy for hundreds of years.

Gianfranco Ferre advert, Model Aly Dunne Fall/Winter 1991

Gianfranco Ferre advert, Model Aly Dunne Fall Winter/1991

The show is beautifully curated by Sonnet Stanfill, who researched Italian archives, and worked closely with Bulgari to select the unique and extraordinary jewels on display. The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014 is a delightful celebration of Italian fashion and style. Victoria & Albert Museum – 5 April until 27 July 2014. www.vam.ac.uk JG

Photos: Top image: Valentino posing with models nearby Trevi Fountain Rome July 1967 Courtesy of the Art Archive/Mondadori Portfolio/Marisa Rastellini  Ballroom image: Fashion Show in Sala Bianca 1955 Photo by G.M.Fadigati Giorgini Archive Florence Gianfranco Ferre photo by Gian Paolo Barbieri copyright:GIANPAOLOBARBIERI

 

David Linley Master Craftsmen Exhibition

David Linley Master Craftsmen Exhibition

“A Celebration of British design, craftsmanship, engineering and innovation

7th March 2014 A new exhibition at Linley in Pimlico, London (open until 14th March), brings together some of Britain’s exceptional luxury labels and companies, focusing on craftsmanship, skill and innovative design. From disciplines as diverse as fashion, fishing, shooting, furniture and construction, the exhibition beautifully portrays examples of the highest quality traditional British design alongside contemporary labels such as BVS Bespoke, producers of fine accessories and handmade bags. Highlights also include exquisite examples of furniture by Linley – www.davidlinley.com, hats by Lock and Co. – www.lockhatters.co.uk -, the first hatters to design the iconic Bowler,  and eyewear by the historic spectaclemakers  - who made frames for Sir Winston Churchill and Napoleon Bonaparte – C.W. Dixey (pictured above). www.cwdixeyandson.com

Shoes

John Lobb of St James’s, bespoke shoemakers

Lock & Co Hats

Lock & Co., the oldest hat shop in the world

Caption here

McClaren Automotive

There is also a rare chance to get close to some of the most exciting designs from iconic automobile and motorbike manufacters such as McClaren and Gladstone Motorcycles.

Curated by David Linley and Scott Simpson, the exhibition is taking place at Linley Belgravia Showroom, 60 Pimlico Road, London SW1W 8LP www.davidlinley.com Images (top, and centre) provided by www.davidlinley.com

For more on C.W. Dixey fine eyewear visit www.cwdixeyandson.com CN

 

 

Papier Glacé - A Century of Fashion Photography

Papier Glacé – A Century of Fashion Photography

Coming Into Fashion with Condé Nast at Palais Galliera

1st March 2014 The rich archives of Condé Nast New York, Paris, Milan and London brings together in this exhibition 150 mostly original prints from leading fashion photographers from 1918 through to the present day. Images from Henry Clarke, Cecil Beaton and Deborah Turbeville, Norman Parkinson, Horst P Horst, the elegant photos of John Rawlings, who had 66 VOGUE covers, plus Herb Ritts and Irving Penn are among the photographers included.

John Rawlings for American Vogue 1943

John Rawlings for American Vogue 1943

Viewing the photos is a pleasure, as they are well placed to appreciate the creativity, originality and dreamy contexts of the images. Although fashion photography hovers between realism and fiction, the images in Condé Nast publications generally veer towards dreams. In fact, Irving Penn, a Vogue photographer from 1943 to 2004 said: “I always felt we were selling dreams, not clothes.”

The photos are accompanied by fifteen haute couture items from the collections of the Palais Galliera. Two reading rooms provide access to over fifty magazines, plus there are contemporary films projected on a large screen, that provide a glimpse of the possible future of fashion photography. The exhibition continues through 25th May 2014. www.palaisgalliera.paris.fr JG

Henry Clarke for French Vogue May 1951

Henry Clarke for French Vogue May 1951

Photos: All images copyright Condé Nast. Top Image: Edward Steinchen, American Vogue, December 1923

The Novel of a Wardrobe

The Novel of a Wardrobe

Parisian Chic from The Belle Epoque to the 1930′s

1st February 2014 A visit to Musée Carnavalet is always a pleasure, and particularly when there is a special exhibition. The Museum is comprised of two townhouses in The Marais, and has a splendid historical pedigree. The Marquise de Sévigné lived there for almost twenty years, and the extensive collections and interiors at Carnavalet enables visitors to view life as enjoyed by aristocracy through several centuries. In addition to the permanent collection, the current exhibition pays homage to fashion trends from La Belle Epoque to the 1930′s. Roman d’une Garde-Robe (The Novel of a Wardrobe) traces the emergence of the grand haute couture houses in Paris through the remarkable wardrobe of Alice Alleaume, a “vendeuse” or chief saleswoman at Chéruit on Place Vendome.

Evening Elegance - Shoes in Lamé and Leather by Hellstern & Sons 1925

Evening Elegance – Shoes in Lamé and Leather by Hellstern & Sons 1925

The influence of Alleaume’s family – her couturière mother Adéle, and her sister Hortense, who worked at Worth – and the professional life and tastes of these fashionable Parisians, are the factors that orchestrate the exhibition. Elegant fashions from Worth, Jeanne Lavin, Chéruit, plus superb accessories – hats, gloves, bags and jewellery are included.  Beautifully handwritten letters, documents, photographs and sales records, transport the viewer to a gilded age of glamour and refined style. When in Paris – a visit to The Novel of a Wardrobe will enchant and delight. While at Musée Carnavalet, take time to view the beautiful gardens – they are a joy all year – and especially now when the lovely greenery and colourful flowers bring a cheerful note to a winter’s day. Exhibition continues through 16 March. www.carnavalet.paris.fr JG

Photos: Top image: Evening Dress Debut XXème Siècle Rose Silk Mousseline with paillettes, ivory tulle and embroidery of pearls and sequins. Stéphane Piera/Galleria/Roger-Viollet Shoes: Stéphane Piera/Galleria/Roger-Viollet Hellstern Droites Reserves

Elsa Schiaparelli Auction at Christie's Paris

Elsa Schiaparelli Auction at Christie’s Paris

Personal Collection of Legendary Designer in Landmark Sale

20th January 2014 The fashion luminary Madame Elsa Schiaparelli was at the heart of avant-garde ideas in 1930′s Paris. She was a collector, collaborator, friend and patron to many leading artists of the day – from Salvador Dali and Man Ray to Cocteau and Diego Giacometti. Icons of the Golden Age of Hollywood loved her designs – Marlene Dietrich was a client. The sale includes a dynamic combination of Schiaparelli’s fashion designs, as well as furniture, fine art and decorative arts. The vast collection – 180 lots are included in the sale – has passed by descent to Elsa Schiaparelli’s granddaughter, the model and actress Marisa Schiaparelli Berenson. “My grandmother was an inspiration and always has been, and now I think it’s very important for younger generations to know who she was, to have a taste of that wonderful world that she lived in, that she created, that she left behind her,” says Marisa, “and I think my grandmother’s personal belongings will inspire future generations; this is an extraordinary and fascinating legacy.”

Giacometti  Lamp in Elsa Schiaparelli Sale at Christie's Paris

Giacometti Lamp in Elsa Schiaparelli Sale at Christie’s Paris

The diverse collection presents a veritable feast of fashion, artworks and objects that reflect their owner’s significant role as a taste-maker.Elsa Schiaparelli loved to entertain in her homes in Paris and Tunisia – the latter location frequently inspired her fashion collections. Yves Saint Laurent said: “Madame Elsa Schiaparelli was incomparable. There is no equivalent to be found. Her imagination knew no bounds.” The Personal Collection of Elsa Schiaparelli takes place at Christie’s in Paris on Thursday 23rd January. This very personal collection captures the essence of Schiaparelli’s unique style and vision. The full pre-sale exhibition is on view at  Christie’s Paris, 9 Avenue Matignon through 22nd January. For more details visit www.christies.com JG

Top photo:’Bucking Bronco’ intricately beaded waistcoat inspired by Elsa Schiaparelli’s 1940′s trip to Texas. Both photos courtesy of Christie’s Images Limited 2014

 

Alaïa Retrospective In Paris

Alaïa Retrospective In Paris

Palais Galliera Celebrates Iconic Designer

1st January 2014 After a long period of renovation, the sumptuous Palais Galliera has re-opened in Paris with a gala retrospective of Azzedine Alaïa’s timeless designs. For decades, the Tunisian creator has been a dramatic influence on fashion. Alaïa cuts straight to the essence of each garment – the shapes he constructs are bold and creative statements in their own right, without need for further adornment.

Subline Shaping by Azzedine Alaïa

Subline Shaping by Azzedine Alaïa

The exhibition features over seventy garments – clothes that are sensual, sublime and superbly sleek. Unlike most designers, Alaïa travels little, except within his own fertile imagination and visualization. When Alaïa arrived in Paris in the 1960′s, he had the good fortune to meet two Parisian legends – the actress Arletty and the designer and author Lousie de Vilmorin. These elegant women, along with Greta Garbo, and in later years, models Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Yasmin Le Bon inspired him to make ‘garments that last’. He also likes to say: “I make clothes, women make fashion”. A Must See Exhibition!

Until January 26th www.palaisgalliera.paris.fr JG

Isabella Blow:Fashion Galore!

Isabella Blow:Fashion Galore!

Somerset House Celebrates British Fashion Patron

1st December 2013 Elegant Somerset House in London is the venue for a major fashion exhibition celebrating the extraordinary life and wardrobe of Isabella Blow – the late British fashion icon and muse. On show are over one hundred items from her incredibly rich fashion collection, one of the most important private collections of late 20th Century/early 21st Century British fashion design, and now owned by another style icon, Daphne Guinness. This includes garments from the designer talents Isabella discovered and launched, including Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, Hussein Chalayan and Julien Macdonald amongst others.

Blow was born in 1950′s post-war Britian, with a family history that can be traced back to the 14th Century. Highlights of the exhibition include family photographs and the sculpture entitled “Isabella Blow” by Tim Noble and Sue Webster. At the graduate shows from Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art, she discovered Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy. Isabella had an amazing eye for spotting talent, and then wore the designer’s clothes everywhere to showcase their creativity. Her collection included designs by McQueen, Fendi, Dior, Prada, Viktor and Rolf, John Galliano for Dior, Manolo Blahnik and Marni, plus wonderful hats from Treacy – all on display at the exhibition.

Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! is a fitting tribute to a woman who loved fashion and did so much to promote British designers. Until 2 March 2014. www.somersethouse.org.uk JG

Photo: Isabella Blow and Philip Treacy 2003 by Donald McPherson

Spectacles, from need to refinery

Spectacles, from need to refinery

A new spectacles edition from Norway, written by Bjørn L.G. Braathen

23rd November 2013 Norwegian author, eyewear enthusiast and photographer, Bjørn L.G. Braathen has been interested in spectacles since he was 15, and worked with eyewear in the late 70s, selling original designs from the 1940s and 50s. His new book released last month, “Spectacles – from need to finery” is published by Orage (Norway) and charts a personal journey and interest in vintage eyewear; the book also highlights two exhibitions by the author, one of which is taking place in Norway to accompany the release of the book. It features an essay by psychologist, Reidar Hjermann on why people like to see and be seen in glasses.

Portrait of the author

Portrait of the author

Braathen commented, “I have seen and collected many spectacles over the years. I used to be a barrister but I have always been interested in design and particularly eyewear. My book is the result of my studies and the two exhibitions, in Rome, previously, and now Norway, that display my collection with photos of the same glasses on many people; the aim is to give an insight into how people influence spectacles and how spectacles influence people.”

The illustrations in the book include Braathen’s own series of portraits as well as interesting pictures of vintage glasses, including early goggles, examples of antique spectacles, early advertising campaign imagery, and a colourful array of spectacles cases. The book is written in Norwegian with an English translation.

Spectacles, from need to refinery is now available at Bentleys in Walton Street, London – shop@bentleyslondon.com and online at www.tanum.no/forfattere/Braathen,%20Bjørn%20L.%20G CN

Hello my name is Paul Smith at the Design Museum, London

Hello my name is Paul Smith at the Design Museum, London

 

14th November 2013 An exhibition about Paul Smith’s journey in fashion opens tomorrow at the Design Museum, London. It is a wonderful, positive story. At a press launch in June, Smith talked about the tiny store he first opened in Nottingham and the Afghan hound Homer who probably took up much of that tiny space where his fashion retail journey began; he related with great enthusiasm many of his personal experiences and thoughts on his career which will be highlighted throughout the exhibition, which he personally recommended not just to adults but children too.

Paul Smith, Melrose Avenue

Paul Smith, Melrose Avenue

Charting the full story of the fashion label from Nottingham to its Paris launch in the 70s and its growth and expansion worldwide, there will be opportunities to see a recreation of Paul Smith’s idiosyncratic personal office and projections, film clips and behind-the-scenes footage of the inner workings of the brand – plus a showcase of the many clothing collections and shops themselves such as the Melrose Place one (above), each one unique. A book, published by Rizzoli, has been released to coincide with the exhibition; we’ve yet to get our hands on it. Exhibition runs to 9 March 2014. CN

Further details: www.designmuseum.org www.paulsmith.co.uk CN

Pearls - Beauty and Symbolism

Pearls – Beauty and Symbolism

Victoria & Albert Museum Celebrates Pearls

1st November 2013 Natural pearls have always been objects of desire, due to their rarity and beauty. Through the centuries, myths and legends surround them. Now at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London is a beautiful exhibition charting the history of pearls – from the formation of the pearl itself to their legendary fashion symbolism. Pearls were prominent in the European Courts of the 19th century, and today the unfailing glamour and desire for pearls continues. Necklaces, crowns, brooches and bracelets are all on display – luxurious symbols of femininity and timelessness. The exhibition continues through 14 January 2014. www.vam.ac.uk Photo: Sotheby’s Cartier 1930′s pearl with platinum and diamond clasps. The Qatar Museums Authority Collection  JG

V&A Broochbrownpearlssetinplatinumdiamonds_France_1900_c_Albion_Art

Brooch with brown pearls set in platinum diamonds France 1900

Photo: Albion Art

 

Fashion Rules

Fashion Rules

Glamorous Exhibition Opens at Kensington Palace Gardens

1st October 2013 A visit down the memory lane of fashion is on display at Kensington Palace Gardens in London, with a beautiful exhibition of dresses worn by HM Queen Elizabeth 11, Princess Margaret, and Diana, Princess of Wales. What the royal icons wore from the 1950′s through the 1980′s is illustrated with glamorous designs from their wardrobes. Normal Hartnell and Hardy Amies, favourites of The Queen, are represented with dresses in luxurious fabrics with nipped in waists – a defining motif of the 1950′s. Designs for Princess Margaret by Marc Bohan at Dior, and couture creations for Diana, Princess of Wales, by Bruce Oldfield and Catherine Walker are also featured. Photographs and film clips from the period make this a delightful nostalgic experience, as it traces style innovations during these decades. Exhibition continues through summer 2015. www.hrp.org.uk JG

Little Black Dress

Little Black Dress

Supreme Style Statement

1st September 2013 It’s indispensable – the backbone of the stylish woman’s wardrobe. And now the Little Black Dress (LBD) merits its own celebration. The Mona Bismarck American Center for Art and Culture in Paris is the venue for a delightful exhibition of statement Little Black Dresses by international designers, including Oscar de la Renta, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and others. Presented by the Museum of Art at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), the curator of the show is the peripatetic style maven and VOGUE Contributing Editor André Léon Talley. “The exhibition highlights the strength of individualism,” says Talley, and he also praises the Little Black Dress for its versatility, glamour and grace.

LBD_delaRenta01

Tulle and Taffeta Fantasy by Oscar de la Renta Autumn 2012

 

With so many delectable LBD’s on display, it’s easy to understand the allure of this contemporary phenomenon. A must see! Until 22 September 2013. www.monabismarck.org JG

Photos: Top photo: Marc Jacobs silk dress Autumn 2012 Photo credit: courtesy of Rachel Feinstein, New York.  Photo credit Oscar de la Renta: Savannah College of Art and Design

 

Best of Britannia 2013, London

Best of Britannia 2013, London

20th August 2013 Best of Britannia is coming up again in October and will take place at the Farmiloe building in London’s Clerkenwell. The exhibition showcases a special mix of quality British brands – established and emerging – encompassing an interesting range of industries and sectors, including interiors, furniture, lighting, food, sports, accessories, automotives… and eyewear too. Founder and Creator Antony Wallis explains: “It is a very exciting time to be a British designer and manufacturer – the London 2012 Olympics, the Golden Jubilee, and now with the arrival of Prince George, brand Britain is experiencing a major boom. At Best of Britannia, we have curated a collection of British brands that have authenticity, a strong British heritage and provenance, all under one roof. Visitors are in for a real treat.”

Ailen by FAN Optics

Ailen by FAN Optics

Among the fashion exhibitors we are looking forward to seeing are the accessories label, Age of Reason (http://www.eyestylist.com/2013/07/a-favourite-new-season-accessory/) and the British eyewear brand FAN Optics (www.fanoptics.co.uk), who recently launched a Limited Edition Sunglasses Collection – The Nine Worthies. Read more about it here: http://www.eyestylist.com/2013/06/summer-stories/.

Best of Britannia 2013, the Farmiloe Building, Clerkenwell, London – 3rd to 5th October 2013. To book a stand or attend as a visitor find out more here: www.bestofbritannia.com  CN