Tuesday 26th February – sixth meeting of 2013
After our break for half term we met at Charing Cross and went straight to St Martin’s Crypt for a coffee and chat. Just six of us this week. From here we walked along the Strand to Somerset House to see the Valentino, Master of Couture, The Catwalk Exhibition.
From the entrance into Somerset House to get to the exhibition seemed a bit like a route march but eventually we were in the right place after following the red signs and arrows, we bought our tickets £9.00 concessionary price and started.
At the beginning on the ground floor was a background to Valentino and showed documents and invitations. This area was full of people and many reading all the information so it was really slow to progress. From here were a set of spiral stairs to take you to the catwalk showing the dresses. Here we had to wait until were was room. Once up the stairs and ‘on the catwalk’ we could view the dresses but it was really crowded and took a long time to be able to look properly. Over 100 designs on display ranging from 1950s to today. They were displayed in groups with five or six mannequins sitting and standing as if watching a fashion show. The groups were in similar colours and spanning all the decades. Beautiful designs, materials, colours and styles. Day wear and evening gowns with some that had been worn by the rich and famous, Anne Hathaway, Audrey Hepburn, Julie Roberts.
Personally, I preferred the plainer simple designs but the work involved in the making of them was amazing. At the end of the ‘catwalk’ we went down another spiral staircase to view a magnificent wedding dress. Then a short film with Valentino explaining some of the methods of making of the gowns. The exhibition finished with samples and explanations of processes used to create the designs. As usual the final stop was a shop. Very little in it and one look at the price meant we did just look!
It was a good exhibition, informative and interesting but the amount of people did make it a slow to move around.
After the exhibition we walked through The Embankment Gardens to Charing Cross and our trains home. A lovely walk with lots of the flowers and shrubs starting to bud! A sign that Spring is on the way!!