Monday, May 17, 2010

London - V&A + Kensington Place

The Enchanted Palace

Rich royal histories, spectacular theatre design from Wildworks and cutting-edge fashion intersect in this ambitious exhibition. Against the atmospheric backdrop of Kensington Palace, the Enchanted Palace brims with inspiration.
The Council Chamber
Vivienne Westwood's dress for a rebellious princess
Labels stating when visitors last cried
William Tempest's dress and installation in Queen Victoria's bedroom
Echo Morgan's Dress of the World  

Grace Kelly - style icon
This exhibition shows the spectacular wardrobe of Grace Kelly, one of the most popular actresses of the 1950s. Featuring dresses from her films including High Society and Rear Window, as well as the gown she wore to accept her Oscar in 1955, the display will examine Grace Kelly's glamorous Hollywood image and enduring appeal.
It will also explore the evolution of her style as Princess Grace of Monaco, from the outfit she wore to her first meeting with Prince Rainier in 1955 to her haute couture gowns of the 1960s and '70s by her favourite couturiers Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy and Yves St Laurent.

Inside The Exhibition
Erwin Blumenfeld, Portrait of Grace Kelly, New York, 1955. © The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld 2009 (click image for larger version)
The thing that made her stand out is what we call 'style'. McCall's magazine, 1955
When people think of Grace Kelly (1929-82), one of the most photographed women of the 20th century, what they usually recall is her beauty and elegance. She rose to fame as an actress in the 1950s, starring in films by Hitchcock and others. Her image was cultivated by the movie industry, which fed cinema-goers' growing appetite for pictures of glamorous stars through magazines and newspapers. The types varied, from voluptuous sirens and 'sweater girls' to the girl next door. The young Grace Kelly seemed to combine both qualities: wholesome, but distinctly glamorous at the same time.
She came to symbolise the classic, understated look she wore both on and off screen. Grace Kelly became known for her impeccable dress sense. This exhibition explores, through her surviving clothes, the story of her transformation from Hollywood actress to a princess of one of Europe's oldest royal families. Examining her enduring appeal as a style icon, it features her film costumes, the much-publicised dresses made for her trousseau and wedding, and the French haute couture - a different kind of costume - that she required for her subsequent role as Princess of Monaco.

Quilts: 1700 - 2010
The V&A will present its first ever exhibition of British quilts, with examples dating from 1700 to the present day - a unique opportunity to view the V&A's unseen quilt collection as well as key national loans.
The exhibition show 65 beautifully crafted quilts, predominantly from the V&A's own collection but also including a number of important loans and new works by contemporary artists, many of which have been commissioned especially for the show.

Rajah Quilt, Made by convicts on board HMS Rajah, 1841, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
To Meet My Past, Tracey Emin, 2002, The Saatchi Gallery, London

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