Monthly Archives: January 2011

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Spring/Summer 2011 show preparations

For the last womenswear show, I had the pleasure and privilege to observe the goings-on at Yamamoto’s Paris HQ and Espace Vendôme, the show venue, in the hours and days before the show went live. When the models are chosen the day before the show, they are allocated outfits individually on the day before the show: some will only show one look, others up to four, depending on how their personalities suit the garments. Yamamoto chooses the look, gestures, says a few words, he and the team move around quietly to adjust details. Eugene Souleiman and Pat McGrath, the hair …

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Liberty’s department store provides me with a haven in busy central London. I could spend hours in their haberdashery department admiring their distinctive printed fabrics or looking at the interiors of their ‘Tudor’ building . I was, therefore, delighted when I found out that The Cult of Beauty exhibition, which is sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, will have further support from Liberty. A couple of weeks ago, as part of a press tour, I visited the store and met Liberty’s archivist who showed us some sample books containing Aesthetic fabrics . Liberty played a vital role in popularising …

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I eat my words!

The Ballets Russes on stage during their first visit to the Fêtes des Narcisses when they danced Les Sylphides and Aurora’s Wedding (which is shown in this photograph). The Exhibition build is being dismantled – the cloths are all wrapped up and the technicians taking all the structures down and I shall report further on this as I wrap up this blog BUT I am still leading an exciting life going out and about. At Monday’s Dance Critics Awards at Sadler’s Wells the exhibition received praise from members of the dance profession ( a very welcome acknowledgement) and I am …

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The final image!

I am pleased to be able to show you the wonderful composite image Nick Knight has produced for us to act as the lead marketing image for the show. It combines a look from Yohji Yamamoto’s Autumn-Winter 2009-10 show made from bright red and black boiled wool shot in action with an image of our wonderful Cast Courts. Photography Nick Knight, Art direction Peter Saville

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Model Beauty

Even for those of us who are used to reading architectural drawings there is nothing quite like a model for bringing a design to life. Our designers, Opera, produced this model to show us how the space would be divided and the different colour schemes that would be used for each section. Using miniature images of each of the exhibition objects we could also get a sense of how the hang and groupings would work long before the internal partitions were due to be constructed. I am always interested to see how each of the major V&A exhibitions uses this …

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Designing Postmodernism, Part 2: The Model

An exhibition is a three-dimensional experience, so despite all the help that drawings can provide – as discussed in the last post – sometimes what you really need is a model. This means you need a completely different set of skills, and materials. Not pen and paper, but plastic and glue. Fortunately our designers for the Postmodernism exhibition have one staff member who is an outstanding model-maker, as well as a skilled designer: Ana Maria Ferreira. Before working at Carmody Groarke, Ana was trained as an architect in Portugal, at the Universidade de Coimbra. She learned her model-making skills there. …

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Audio and Technology in the Galleries

I remember that when I started working in museums in the late 1990s, computer terminals and audio points were just starting to become common sights in gallery displays. Often, there was a film running on a loop on a television screen, or there was a somewhat clunky computer supplying limited information. The question of whether […]

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Enter 2011

After a few weeks of work-induced silence, we have been quietly getting on with the task of putting this wonderful exhibition up. Two weeks to go until we start build installation and a lot has been happening in the stores of the V&A. We received the crates full of Yohji Yamamoto treasures early January and the Conservation team has been busy condition checking each of the pieces carefully and assessing whether it needs to go through a heat treatment called Thermo Lignum. This treatment ensures that anything that might have made itself comfortable in the clothes (particularly in natural protein-rich …

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Our last courier arrived from Hamburg today to reclaim the wonderful cartoons of Le Spectre de la rose by Jean Cocteau. Material from the ‘props store’ has been claimed for the Friday late on 25 March which will have a performance theme . Many of the costumes are already crated up on their mannequins for their transatlantic voyage although we have been having some problems with our freezer which has delayed the packing a little. It really is over. The banners in the Sackler Centre have been taken down and the Degas painting of the ballet scene from Meyerbeer’s opera …

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