Alexander Mcqueen Exhibition, V & A – Savage Beauty

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Last Friday, I felt like I was holding a golden ticket. It was indeed a sought after piece of paper, although it was an e – ticket rather than a gold incrusted piece of cardboard – something that would have been far more worthy of what it represented.

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With the ticket, I was able to see the Alexander Mcqueen Savage Beauty exhibition at the V & A museum, a collection showcasing some of his most momentous masterpieces, including his Central Saint Martin’s graduate creations that were bought by Isabella Blow.

You descend into darkness as soon as you enter through the exhibition doors. The people in front of me in the queue, who just seconds before had been nattering away, stopped mid conversation and looked up in awe.

So it was just possibly (obviously certain) a fraction as dramatic as his shows, but the dark room managed to captivate all.

One of the first things you see is his graduate collection, Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims, where human hair had been stitched into the lining of the garments. A voice over plays on repeat  from the documentary, Mcqueen and I,  where 20 – something year old McQueen says “London’s where I was brought up. It’s where my heart is and where I get my inspiration”. It had a powerful poignant effect. Well, for me it did, and was clearly supposed to, as it was also staring back at me on the wall – just incase I had failed to hear the audio.

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There are 5 rooms in total, showcasing some of his most notorious pieces, including one of my favourites – his S/S ’07 dress made from fresh flowers. More hauntingly were pieces from his A/W ’10 collection that he was in the process of making before he died. This included a gold feather dress, that I had to stare at for a good few minutes.

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My favourite room was the  ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’. On display were over 100 accessories and garments, some unfinished. I overheard one lady describe how  “it feels like we are all sitting here in his tomb, buried with all that represents him – his clothes”. The adjectives “amazing” “wow” and “incredible” were also on repeat among the other museum goers, as if nobody could string a full sentence together – lost in the moment and the realisation of just how incredible Alexander McQueen was. He wasn’t just a designer, but an artist.

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There were also large screens in each corner of the room playing clips from his most theatrical fashion shows, and showcased in the centre was that dress, from S/S ’99. Pictured below.

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Oh and the other (extra) remarkable bit – Kate Moss made an appearance. Casually.

Albeit it was in the form of a hologram, a miniature version of his Widows of Culloden A/W ’06 show. I watched it quite a few times and realised just how much I love the fashion world. 

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When In Rome

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Here is the Colosseum, casually photo bombing my walking picture.

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I have been in Rome for the last few days, visiting my friend Maya. Maya can talk Italian and is practically a local which resulted in me seeing the sites in a whole new way. As well as ticking off the Colosseum, I drank real hot chocolate, spritzers and soy cappuccinos that will now make every trip to Costa coffee in England a slight let down. I feel my culinary pallet has been spoilt this weekend too, having eaten fresh pizza (that was practically healthy), bruschetta and Arancini’s (stuffed rice balls) on a daily basis.

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I burnt off these treats through biking around the river, walking from Monti to Pigneto (two of the trendiest neighbourhoods in Rome) and simply through enjoying the city of Roman Empire.

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Yeah! Bar, in Pigneto is where we are below and I can’t recommend it enough. Their 4 euro spritzers are enough to make you want to stay all day.

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Rome looks super pretty at night too.

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Finding Designer Bargains In Charity Shops For Under £10

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One thing I enjoy doing more than anything else is hunting for new clothes in charity shops. If you check out my 19 year old self  on my old blog, you will see it was something I loved to take snaps of. Through searching through old musty BHS tracksuits and creased Primark t-shirts that cost double the amount they would have cost in the shop, I have found everything from type writers to suitcases.

Although I have been lucky enough to find exciting handbags and jewel incrusted jackets in thrift stores around the world in cities like New York, Tallinn and Amsterdam, I tend to find the best clothes are found a lot closer to home, in The Princess Alice Hospice – Chertsey, Surrey. I am aware that I have just given away a huge secret to any other bargain hunters out there, but it is a risk I will take as it truly deserves the shout out.

So, let me start with the least aesthetically pleasing, the black skirt. What is so special about it you ask? Well, not only have I been after a plain black skirt for a while, but this one was from Jigsaw. At a bargain price of £5, I held onto it as tightly as my Lulu Guiness handbag.

Next, I found this cute little bag, pictured below. It was £2, velvet, vintage looking and quilted. I’m not quite sure how practical it will be on a daily basis, especially for someone like me who feels the need to bring most of my bedroom out on every trip I take, but it was too cheap to leave on the shelf.

Finally, the jacket. I saw it in the window, teamed with a dowdy old jumper and very nearly overlooked it. However, something made me look at it again, take it to the mirror and try it on. It fitted like a glove and I really love the pattern. I am a huge fan of wearing black from head to toe, but as spring is around the corner, I realised that a bit of colour in my life once and a while is not a bad thing. The jacket was £5 too and surprisingly from New Look.

I love the pattern, the colour and the black edging. The black panels on the sleeves are also pretty cool.

So here we have it, a successful day at The Princess Alice Hospice, with all money going to a worthy cause. Win, win.