Posts Tagged ‘V&A’

Pearls exhibition at the V&A with Pond’s Institute

Ah, the luxury of stepping in to the V&A after hours, when the tourist crowd has faded away! Invited by  Pond’s Institute, I could not resist stopping to enjoy their velvety, slightly rose-fragranced creams. A new one has just joined the family: Natural Beauty  which uses green tea anti-oxidants to richly nurture the skin. A delight. Imagine the evening, the museum’s long hall, its white marble statues as if paused in movement and about to start conversing again, the perfect acoustics, the dance of champagne glasses with a few drops of Monin grenadine to create a marvellous palette of pink hues, the theatrical shadows all around…

Caroline Neville and Laura Whitmore were representing the brand and introduced the Pearls exhibition. Same timeless elegance shared  by these fashion icons, you see. The passing through generations – whether a string of pearls or a beauty ritual like the cold cream one. And both bring a smile, make you absolutely radiant.

And so we all marvelled at how a pearl is born, a mere impurity, a grain of sand sometimes transformed by a shell into a treasure. White, ivory, grey, black, green, blue, pink, even golden. Smooth and round, imperfect, always novel, tiny like a mere sparkle or amazing in size. Sweetly held on a single string, wise and neat or married with malachite, sapphires, diamonds or why not embroidered on a watch, on a dress? A thousand ways to wear them, discreetly or extravagantly. In each, such character, a story of its own, a magic defying time.

Be warned, this exhibition will force you to stop at the best jeweller around. Harrods is nearby. Just saying. To be seen again and again though, such beauty in each jewel…

Pond’s Institute

Pearls
Until January 19, 2014
V&A
Cromwell Road
London SW7 2RL

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From the V&A with love

No matter how many times I have been there, the V&A entrance still wows me: this amazing contrast between the classical dome and the surreal octopus glass work by Chihuly…

V&A
Cromwell Road
London SW7 2RL

V&A, dome, London, Chihuly

A week-end in London: July 05-08, 2012

Music Maestro! Liverpool street station gets all musical Thursday evening, the pianos are back on the streets and Friday evening at the V&A, jazz gets a lovely nigerian twist. Lovely free events to get your groove back… Scroll down to find more London week-ends ideas.
That’s art baby:

* Get a dose of Warhol at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

* The old BBC offices in Marylebone become a secret garden and a pop-up theatre for the summer. Why not give it a try?

* For a little magic, go and see this art installation made entirely of kites.

* His names is Bond. James has his show at the Barbican.

Yummy time ahead:

* A new street food van, Speck Mobile, offers Austrian treats on the go.

* Fancy foraging but do not know where to start? Try this very clever bike tour.

Out of the ordinary:

* On Thursday evening, The Shard will illuminate the London sky with a laser web.

* The Old Vic Tunnels blooms into a fascinating underground garden.

* Match your nail varnish to your favourite London streets.

* Fan of the Future and Secret cinema? Well, welcome the new addition to their family, secret screenings in secret locations.

* Make a detour to enjoy the  Streatham Festival. Music, drama, theatre, fire themed dancing, comedy, creative workshops and even Ninja Knitters!

* H&M opens a sport pop-up shop at St Martin’s Courtyard. Time to get that credit card smoking.

* It is quite a party this week-end at Kensington Palace with lots of music and dances.

* Gentlemen too have their olympiad. Includes tweed, moustaches and hats.

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A week-end in London: June 28-25, 2012

Revisiting Kensington Palace recently, I fell under its charm all over again. Forget dusty old houses, no matter how royal. Here, historical anecnotes appear in old-style newspapers, irresistible. Drawers can be opened, books opened, secret messages found. Room after room art installation bring you to a dream world, waking up the whispers of the house, making emotions so much more vibrant. Magical indeed. Now, what about you? What have you planned for the week-end?

That’s art, baby:
* Can art. Yes. Using can-struction.

* Destructure architecture at the late evening of the V&A on Friday.

* Rediscover Munch’s paintings at the Tate.

Yummy time ahead:
* What a delicious idea: a cooking workshop dedicated to the afternoon tea.

* On Saturday, the Fifteen celebrates its tenth birthday with a fabulous street party.

Out of the ordinary:
* It’s party time on Charing Cross road this Saturday.

* Caudalie brings Bordeaux to London with a divine pop-up spa in Harrods.

* On Saturday, go vintage crazy with this kilo-sale.

* Play ping-pong in the streets of London. A fantastic (and free) idea.

* Feel like dancing with Havana rumba.

* On Sunday, celebrate Canada day on Trafalgar Square.

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Queen Elizabeth II: Portraits by Cecil Beaton

Time flew and you missed the gorgeous portraits of Queen Elisabeth II by Cecil Beaton at the V&A. Get the exhibition book instead. Amazing how much more a black and white picture can express in the complexity of its hundreds of shades. The gravity of a gaze as well as the freedom of a mnute of happiness look so much more intense. And so, page after page, we discover another Queen. A fascinating beauty, such grace and elegance. A visible weight on her shoulders -  representing her people, no place for mistake, never really say how you feel inside. At the same time, it feels like stepping in the same room, sharing a rare moment of intimacy.  A woman with a thousand different lives.

Queen Elizabeth II: Portraits by Cecil Beaton

A week-end in London: May 18-21, 2012

A book to devour, just in case rain would decide to stay a little longer. No story but a collection of tips and anecdotes by Lucia Van der Post, one of England’s most elegant women. It reads like a conversation, offering the experience of a whole life on fashion, beauty, how to pack a case or amaze your guest with a wonderful dinner, even how to juggle work and family. Nothing complex, just pure good sense – things you can’t seee for yourself, sometimes because tou are so busy trying to keep everything together. This will save you so much time, take you to a different twist of your routine, give you a different angle. Oh and there are plenty of fab addresses in there too. Fancy more ideas for your week-end in London? Scroll down!


That’s art, baby!
* Thursday, enjoy opera on Trafalgar Square.
* Quick! Only a few days left to enjoy Babel, the immersive theater experience!
* See the Queen (well, in painting) at the National Portrait Gallery.
* Have a look at the splendid designs and cartography at the London Transport Museum. Mind the map!
* Dream of beautiful ballgowns at the V&A.
* Beautiful pictures of the past at the British Postal Museum.

Yummy time ahead:
* Brunch at Salvation Jane for their Maple french toast w crisp bacon, grilled bananas and candied pecans… their corn fritters stacked w crispy bacon, fresh rocket, slow roast tomatoes, chilli jam and crème fraiche… their toasted banana bread w honey ricotta… and so much more!
* Try The wild food kitchen – a supper club using a forager. Brilliant!
* Taste/test The Bowler, a new street food van getting more successful by the day. Their hit? Fabulous meatballs (with even a Swedish and a Thai twist).

Take the little ones along:
* Get to know everything about the stars with free workshops at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.

Out of the ordinary:
* Beyond Retro celebrate their 10th birthday with burlesque (Thursday) and Hollywood 193oies style (Friday).
* Discover Stik’s latest pieces… guided by the artist himself.
* Marvel at a floating garden.
* Sport fan? Indulge in a 3 in 1 option: London +  guided tour + jogging.
* Oh! A garden party, with a liberty garden shed, music, giant floral decorations (Sunday)…

A week-end in London: April 12-15, 2012

I love April skies. Indecisive, tortured. A ray of sunshine, a shower of rain, the sudden music of hail. Of course, it may lead to a certain surcharge (shirt, scarf, hood, sunglasses -  be prepared for everything. In the same day.) But as dusk approaches, clouds take a velvety appearance, get painted with even brighter colours if only for a minute, like a luxurious marble… Get your umbrella and scroll down to discover ideas for your week-end in London!

That’s art baby!
* Rediscover London through photographs of its past at the Wandworth museum

Be amazed by Cate Blanchett, on the stage of the Barbican for a few days only.

Yummy-time ahead:
* Fall for the “Afternoon tea in the park” hampers by Bea’s . Ah, if only we also could order some sun!

* This week-end, the Southbank market celebrates India.

* Dine as on the Titanic -  the final menu is recreated at Hix for the centenary.

* A mobile tea-room – love it! Follow it in Soho.

Take the little ones along:
* A delicious idea from Carluccio’s: a biscuit workshop for bakers-to-be.

* Take them to see the newborn ducklings -  nothing could be cuter.

Out of the ordinary:
* On Thursday, shop rock’n'roll at a cute themed vintage market.

* Abracadabra, have a look at the Magic Circle Museum.

* On Friday, indulge in a free concert at the V&A, a mix of jazz and Indian music.

* Every Sunday until the end of August, the Spitafields City Farm proposes an outdoor “eco-chic” market -  worth a detour if you are around Brick Lane.

* Did you know you can swap your books on Carnaby street?

* On Sunday, to celebrate the Olivier Awards, the place to be will be the Covent garden Piazza with performances from top West End shows.

* Or celebrate Thai new year at the amazing temple in Wimbledon -  exoticism guaranteed. Or just stop by at Trafalgar square.

A week-end in London: March 29-Apr. 01, 2012

Look. This is my secret weapon for challenging weeks. You know, those when files build a China wall around you. This perfect butter and honey flajack, with a layer of caramel, another of chocolate, sprinklend with hazelnuts and pistachios take all the trouble away, one bite at a time. Of course, you have used more than your calorie allowance but yes, it is that good, even if it seems simple enough. Stock on those at Prêt-à-manger. And to burn the extra energy, choose in the week-end ideas below!

That’s art baby:
* On Thursday, dress 1930ies style to see the Mondrian exhibition.
* Friday, the late evening of the V&A celebrates Persia.
* A musical sculpture in Canary Wharf? Now that will make you love modern art.

Yummy time ahead:
* A speakeasy behind a sex-shop in Soho, how intriguing!
* The food market on Southbank will be all about chocolate this week-end.
* Indulge at the chocolate lab too. They even do brunches.
* The best Sunday idea ever -  a roast with a “Make your own Bloody Mary” option. And a kids club!

Take the little ones along:
* The Harry Potter studios are opening on Saturday – magic!
* Dimanche, sortez les cerfs-volants.On Sunday, go and fly a kite.

Out of the ordinary:
* Try Kicktable - an amazing way to discover new skills or share yours.
* Revise your London ABC.
* Kensington Palace has reopened, even more magical than before.

A week-end in London: Feb 24-26, 2012

Daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops are peaking out. Hoorray, soon the outdoors will be ours again and life will get a pinkier shade…

That’s art baby:
* On Thursday, say bye to Nelson’s ship in a bottle on Trafalgar and hi to the new work of art. A golden child on  a rocking horse. I am still not convinced by it but well, at least the scenery changes.

* Knitting remains so, so trendy. Whether in pop-up shops or in street art.

* Pete Doherty has put a little of himself in each of his latest paintings – litterally, some blood. This way to see them.

Yummy time:
* We love the Candy Café. But the Boba Jam with its colourful desserts really triggers our curiosity. What do you think?

Take the little ones along:
* The Chelsea Theatre proposes a family film club every Saturday with games and activities. What a better way to start the week-end?
* Still on Saturday, you can see the Stepney farm and have a pancake for a mere £5.

Out of the ordinary:
* Go egg hunting -  40 giants ones have been decorated by designers and artists then hidden around town. Ready, steady…

* Thursday, go and listen to stories for adults, inspired by the mysterious atmosphere of the 19th century.

* Loved War Horse? Go and see the exhibition for free at the late night opening of the National Army Museum. This Friday.
* On Friday still, don’t forget the late opening at the V&A -  dedicated to Cecil Beaton, photographer to the Queen. Smile, pause, get a tiara!

* Love Drink, shop & do? You can dance there too -  every week-end!

* Sunday, join the Oxfam Rumble Jumble, empty your cupboards of unwanted clothes and refill them with new fun items.

* See la vie en green. Well, maybe just London. This eco-friendly site really makes you rediscover the city.

Super silk

Fashion and art. Nice philosophy subject for A levels. Where does the forst one start, where does the other one ends. Fashion week dissertation, get your pens out, you have one hour. Be sharp.

The V&A has a splendid cape on show at the moment. Made of silk. Not the usual one – spider silk, from Madagascar. Why is is so special? It took 4 years to make it. Usually, you get the material from cocoons. In this case, from the live spider, day after dau. The thread is then united with others to make it thicker and stronger, transformed into cloth and finally had embroidered.

The technique, which has been rarely used, dates back to 1709. A French man succeeded at the time to create stockings and gloves for Louis XIV. Then again, in the 19th century, an Italian carefully made stockings and a showl for Napoleon and his wife Joséphine. The last tentative was for the Universal Exhibition in 1900. Such a delicate task, such a time and skill investment: an ounce of silk needs 23000 spiders at work. Who knows when or even if you will see anything like this again?

Golden spider silk -  free, until June 05, 2012
V&A
Cromwell Road
London SW7 2RL

London

This Week End in London

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