Beauty, Grace & Style
Nov & Dec 2012
Valentino - Master of Couture at Somerset House.
(29th Nov '12 - 3rd March '13)
Mr Valentino's retrospective at Somerset House should be in your diary for the next few months if you like fashion and you can get to London easily.
The gala evening saw a host of friends and patrons of the designer turning out and many other fellow couturiers who respect and admire this great man's career.
A true celebration of a body of work.
The exhibit is stunning with couture pieces spanning the 7, (yes 7!) decades of his career from the 1950s to the 2010s. The mannequins are cleverly colour coded themselves in subtle hues of Mint, Mustard and smoke so that visitors can look through the collection (arranged by theme) and pick out dresses from up and down the hall and see them in the context of their era.
Chanel. Les Metiers d'arts - Linlithgow Castle Scotland.
This year Chanel celebrated their show piece pre-fall collection in Spectacular Style at Linlithgow Castle.
Scotland was an important part of Coco Chanel's life, away from the fashion circuit of Paris but it's was a private part of her world that bore so much inspiration to her fashion collections. Through her time with Westminster on his Scottish Estates she cultivated friendships with luminaries such as Winston Churchill. She also developed her knowledge of Tweed and traditional Scottish fabrics.
In her early years Chanel became a great admirer of the English style but it was in her 30s, through going to Scotland with Westminster's party of friends that she saw the craftsmanship close-up, she saw the weavers at their work, she saw the lands where the yarn that would make the famous Tweeds was grown on the backs of sturdy Scottish cattle.
Chanel's deep admiration for the craftsmanship of Scottish Tweed lives on the current commissions that Chanel makes from Local factories in the Scottish Boarders.
Held around the 6th and 7th of December this show coincided with the 470th Birthday of the most famous person to be born in the Castle at Linlithgow - Mary Queen of Scots.
More than just a Highland Fling; CHANEL's collection channels the reality that a lot of staple Scottish items of clothing have become mainstay's in seasonal wardrobes around the world. Chashmere's, tartan woven skirts and dresses, are there any women who havn't had these items in their wardrobes at some point in their lives?
The trusty tartan wrap and blanket that goes on picnics and many adventures. Also I think it's possible that the trusty Sporran that was traditionally worn by men to carry knives and a bit of food has slowly evolved into the GameKeepers nap-sac and cartridge/game bag that is seen around in the country and the City in many different forms in the present day.
Van Cleef & Arpels at Les Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Le Louvre in Paris.
During my time in Paris in December I was able to see the Van Cleef retrospective of their craftsmanship at Le Louvre.
I spent several hours here studying the pieces. One of my favourite pieces was the Egyptian detailed bracelet that I came back to time and time again. It was an exact miniature replica of many tomb paintings that I had seen. Instead of paint it was fashioned from set gen stones and laid within Gold. Truly a work of art that would be prized for many, many years.
(C) Angela Cliffe 2009 -2013.