Friday, 1 March 2013

Say, ooohhh ...

This afternoon I grasped my last chance to see the Valentino exhibition at Somerset House. I'm not sure how it compares with the Manet crowds but 1800 ladies a day have been sighing over every ravishing detail on 138 gowns. There was Jackie O's wedding dress and Julia Roberts' gown for her Erin Brokovich Oscar.

Of course, there were some low points. Like pretty much all of the 1980s, anything you could imagine Joan Collins in and the camouflage ballgown inspired by Andy Warhol, made of silk but it looked like brushed nylon.

It was a very convivial crowd. When ladies of a certain age get entranced by couture, we do get quite chatty and I got talking with one who had briefly worked in a couture house after she left school.

I love the vocabulary of couture.

I admire the elegance of pieghe voltate, the delicacy of point d'esprit.

I would love to swish in organza pagine which I think would be very moi but not in pale pink. (One little girl said they looked like slices of ham.)

But if I were spending my own money like Mrs 'Arris, I'm afraid it would have to be rose di volant. 

And I really loved the section at the end that showed how to create the special effects. Even though I can barely sew on a button.



Anonymous said...

Sounds like a lovely outing Mary! Found a photo of myself about 24 in the mid 80s today - ugh the clothes! the hair! What was I thinking about with that perm? Still if even Valentino made some mistakes then....

mary said...

I know, Donna ... but when you think what was in the shops then! At least I never had a perm!
Do you think it will ever come into its own? Is it simply too recently past for us to find anything to love?

Cosy Books said...

Oh from the mouths of babes! Slices of ham...that made me laugh, Mary.

The clothes must have been lovely, what a fun day out, but my dreams about fashion are usually about a closet full of cashmere cardigans.

mary said...

Too traumatic, Darlene - think of the moths, or do your cold winters kill them off?

Noelle the dreamer said...

Mary, you are priceless! I remember my paternal grandmother speaking of couture, Spring and Fall shows in Paris, the quest for the perfect match of her shoes and other accessories to her gowns...and her 18" waist...Ah! La vie en rose?!
Thank you again for bringing a little culture to Blogland! I wouldn't miss your posts for anything!

Anonymous said...

Well there's nothing in my wardrobe left from the 80s and I do regret that perm so probably not Mary! I do wish I still had my Dansk enamel casserole dish from then though.

Joan Hunter Dunn said...

Oh isn't it wonderful. I found myself trying to memorise some of the couture words for next time I play scrabble.