Thursday, 6 February 2014

Lettice Newdigate, aged two, 1606

Much as I'd love to say you really must go to Fashion&Gardens at the Garden Museum - incredibly, it is supposed to be the first-ever exhibition about gardening and fashion - the truth is that it is a charming, but tiny display, the admission charge is hefty when you'd be hard pressed to spin out the visit for 15 minutes, and unfortunately it's a great idea that would have been carried out far better by the Fashion Museum or the V&A. In fact, it's so skimpy that you'd learn more from reading the feature in last month's Vogue. There's hardly any frocks and, given the restrictions on space, the curator made some bizarre choices; a shiny purple Burberry mac has only a very tenuous connection with gardening in my mind. There is, however, one fabulous Valentino opera coat. This review from the Standard, though, clearly written by someone who hadn't been to the show, makes it sound much more fabulous than it is and most of what's mentioned isn't in the exhibition at all.
So a bit of a disappointment, but the amazing flower installation by Rebecca Louise Law was even better than last year's canopy of roses hanging from the ceiling ... this year she's gone mad with gerbera, allium, roses, bird of paradise flowers, gypsophila, anthurium, and many more, and all fresh tonight though they'll eventually fade away.

(Jane Lloyd/Garden World Images)

It would have been fun if they'd recreated this hair-do. Ladies kept their flowers fresh by burying vases in their wigs ... imagine, the mess when they leaked ... your powder would turn to glue. I suppose then, like now, you had to be the type to carry it off.

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