Tuesday 29th May – 18th meeting of 2012

Our usual meeting place at Charing Cross. Two ladies short this week, one in hospital and one packing for a holiday in Scotland. We got Circle underground to South Kensington and walked through the tunnel to Victoria and Albert Museum. This tunnel is a fair walk but it is quicker than road and very direct. It is also good if it is a wet day.

Our first stop was the William Morris tea rooms for a coffee. It was quiet in the seating area today but as it was a hot sunny day many people were outside having their refreshments.

We purchased our tickets, concession rate £7.00 and made our way to the exhibition. The exhibition is a collection of around 60 ballgowns by famous British designers from 1950 to the present day. It is in a specially erected area of two floors and set in a circle. We started upstairs as the ticket lady had told us not to miss this. All the dresses here were of modern design from very recent years. Some were very quirky! Much discussion amongst us as to what we liked and didn’t like as some were made of plastic, leather, feathers and some materials looked ragged and old! But that was just our opinion!  We all agreed that we liked the more traditional elegant designs. There was a video of all these dresses show on the wall and there were chandeliers which made a good atmosphere.

Downstairs the dresses started in chronological order from 1950’s.  There were dresses from the royal collection including ones worn by Queen Mother, Princes Diana and Duchess of Cambridge.  Some of these dresses were really beautiful. I liked the more classic elegant styles and black always looks good to me.  Throughout the exhibition there were examples of evening gloves, shoes and jewellery.  The exhibition was well laid out with information about each dress very clear.

 Outside of the main exhibition there were many samples of all clothing from 16th century to modern day.  This included underwear, shoes, bags, hats indoor and outdoor clothes of men and woman.  We all remarked on the corsets etc on show and wondered how ever woman managed to survive and move in them! So glad we live in the 21st century!! This exhibition was very good, interesting and pleasant to view.

From here we made our way back to Charing Cross and home.  I stopped at Trafalgar Square to try to buy a red, white and blue t-shirt for the forthcoming Diamond Jubilee weekend.  I was pleased that I got one and I soaked up the atmosphere of London.  The sun was shining brightly, the Square was full of people, many school parties and students, the clock was on countdown to the Olympics and with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations only four days away London was in a fantastic mood!!

We will not meet next week as we will all be celebrating our Queen’s Diamond Jubilee!

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