Tag Archives: V&A

➤ Bowie blockbuster goes abroad after 20 weeks wowing London

David Bowie is, exhibition, V&A, international tour, Bowie,

London landmarks: the V&A’s local tube station

➢ Bowie HQ on the V&A show’s last days:

Around 300,000 people have seen the V&A’s David Bowie is exhibition as it enters its closing week. The V&A has been running regular late-night openings to cope with demand and the exhibition has been open until 22.00 every night for the final two weeks. Tickets are still available for purchase every day at the Museum.

To give people one last chance to see the exhibition in the UK the V&A has also commissioned a special film to be transmitted live to over 200 cinemas across the UK on 13 August. David Bowie is happening now will be a cinematic, behind-the-scenes tour of the exhibition in the company of curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh and celebrity guests.

The exhibition will now commence an international tour. Confirmed venues are:

  • Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada from 25 September to 27 November 2013
  • Museum of Image and Sound, Sao Paulo, Brazil from 28 January to 21 April 2014
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA from September 2014 to January 2015
  • Philharmonie de Paris/ Cité de la Musique, Paris, France from 2 March to 31 May 2015
  • Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands from 15 December 2015 to 15 March 2016

Further international venues are under discussion… / Continued at Bowie.com

David Bowie is, exhibition, V&A, international tour, Bowie,

Fresh this week: a new Bowie portrait by Jimmy King, oozing maquillage


➤ Book now for the Bowie finale – if you can


 at 7pm on August 13 as the finale to the V&A’s successful exhibition, when special guests offer insights into the stories behind the artefacts from the Bowie Archive.

Picturehouse Entertainment, V&A,Martin Roth ,cinema ,event

s, , David Bowie Is,It is to be screened in 19 UK cinemas named today by Picturehouse Entertainment. 
Members’ priority booking started from today Monday June 24, and the public get what’s left on Friday June 28. So if we are to judge from the V&A’s track record of Bowie-related talks and special events at the Museum itself, this will mean none at all.

V&A Director Martin Roth is deluded if he thinks – as his quote suggests in today’s announcement – that he is reaching “the widest possible audience” when tickets to these 19 tiny cinemas are on sale for four priority days to V&A Members and Picturehouse Members, before being offered to Joe Public.

The biggest cinema at Greenwich Picturehouse, for example, seats only 174 people! “Wide” that is not.

❏ Update June 24 – the Victoria and Albert Museum replies: “We will be announcing further cinemas on Friday when all tickets go on sale. It will be screened at over 200 cinemas nationwide – the first 4 days of booking are Picturehouse Cinemas only. Do check back on the website for new cinemas as we confirm them.”

❏ Shapersofthe80s comments: At a generous estimate, then, going by the Greenwich auditorium, this event might eventually be seen at 200 cinemas by up to 4,000 people. The V&A claims that the Bowie exhibition itself has received nearly 200,000 visits – so it’s an absurd imaginative leap to suggest that a further 4,000 people represent “the widest possible audience”. His marketing department should choose museum Director Martin Roth’s sound-bites for him with more care.

Tickets for Joe Public are apparently only available direct from participating cinemas – not online – from Friday 28th priced £10–£14 and do not yet appear on the museum’s map. Fans lucky enough to be in fulltime employment on Friday will thus have to wait till Saturday morning to hightail it to the selected cinema in their nearest big town. Do any of these museum people lead real lives?


1980 ➤ Club to Catwalk: when fashion became an arena for all the arts

V&A ,fashion,Club to Catwalk , BodyMap, Scarlett Cannon, Monica Curtin,

Monica Curtin’s 1985 pic of Scarlett Cannon as “key identity” for the V&A Club to Catwalk show… Outfit by BodyMap’s AW 1984 collection, Cat in the hat takes a rumble with a techno fish. Stylist John Derry-Bunce. Background painting Simon Josebury. Hair and makeup Jalle Bakke

❚ “FASHION???” SCOFFED THE FASHION EDITOR of a leading women’s magazine who shared my flat in 1980, after meeting one of the more ornamental Blitz Kids over our breakfast table. “Those aren’t even clothes!” Yet within five years she was as keen as every other editor to be featuring BodyMap, Galliano, Jones, Auburn, Hogg, Hamnett, Bernstock Speirs et al. Scroll forward 30 years and London’s world-beating decorative arts museum, the V&A, weighs in with a necessary exhibition reappraising the UK’s style revolution of the 80s. What’s coming under scrutiny in its dedicated fashion galleries are the unique silhouettes of that extravagant shape-shifting decade and the clubland forces that moulded them. Only two weeks to go before Club to Catwalk, London Fashion in the 1980s, and there’s one crucial tipping point at its heart: the moment fashion became style.

Let’s hand over to fashion guru Iain R Webb, one of the central figures who defined his generation and whose impressive book As Seen in Blitz was published last month. Here’s a taste of the mighty personal essay he has written for the summer issue of the V&A Magazine…

V&A Magazine summer issue: the 80s deconstructed by Iain R Webb

V&A Magazine summer issue: the 80s deconstructed by Iain R Webb

Webb writes: “ The 1980s were all about being photographed. We dressed as if every day were a photo shoot and every night a party (it usually was). But there was another revolution happening.

The advent of the stylist who approached fashion as an artistic construct was something new. Alongside the contributors to BLITZ, The Face and i-D (Ray Petri, Judy Blame, Caroline Baker, Helen Roberts, Beth Summers, Simon Foxton, Mitzi Lorenz, Maxine Siwan and Caryn Franklin among them) were two thought-provoking arbiters whose importance is often overlooked. Michael Roberts at Tatler and Amanda Grieve at Harper’s and Queen added a subversive edge to their respective glossy titles. Roberts poking fun at old-school mores while Grieve (later Harlech) befriended St Martin’s graduate John Galliano and helped create the romantic whirlwind that shaped fashion for decades to follow.

Club to Catwalk, exhibition, London, Fashion,1980s, V&AThe images produced by all these stylists merged fashion and art, questioned the accepted ideals of beauty and social status and enjoyed a sense of experimentation. Their vanguard imagery often highlighted specific issues such as the superficiality of fashion and consumerism with humour.

“At that time there was a group of stylists who were as creative as the designers, if not more so,” remembers PR Lynne Franks, who represented BodyMap, Katharine Hamnett and Wendy Dagworthy. “It prompted the question: What came first, the styling or the clothes? It was very spontaneous, like playing dress-up.”

Stefano Tonchi, editor of W magazine, then editor of Westuff, an alternative style periodical published in Florence, says: “Fashion was no longer fashionable. Style was used to describe many areas of the creative arts that came together. It made for a new category. Music dictated a lot of the emerging trends and there was experimentation in both photography and graphic design, but fashion was where these exciting changes were most evident. Think of the BodyMap fashion shows, they weren’t just about the clothes but involved music, graphic design and theatre… ”

➢ Revolt into Style Revisited: continued at Webb’s blog

V&A ,fashion,Club to Catwalk , BodyMap, Scarlett Cannon, Monica Curtin,

Showing in Club to Catwalk: Cotton dress by Willy Brown, 1980… Fallen Angel suit
 by John Galliano,
1985. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

➢ Elsewhere at Shapers of the 80s: Eight for ’84 –
BodyMap flavour of the season topping the labels international buyers tip for success

Above: Needlessly doomy spin-off video from the V&A exhibition
Club to Catwalk in 2013


➤ Linard’s twist on classic Levi – add the kitchen sink

➢ Blitz magazine recalled on the V&A blog:

The Blitz designer collection of Levis denim jackets celebrates some of the most talented and creative designers working out of London in 1986 and it has been 27 years since London’s V&A museum last displayed them. These unique jackets were commissioned by the 80s style magazine Blitz in 1986 and customised by a host of top designers, including John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood, Bernstock Speirs and Paul Smith. In quirky twists on the classic Levis denim number, the 21 jackets, of which the V&A owns nine, push the boundaries of the term ‘customisation’. Onetime Blitz Kid Stephen Linard experimented by attaching a leather backpack and cutlery to his…

Blitz Kids, Stephen Linard, fashion,exhibition, Club to Catwalk ,V&A,,

Sketch on paper, Stephen Linard, Great Britain, 1986. Museum no. AAD/19972/34 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Stephen Linard

Seven of the nine jackets in the V&A’s collection will be on display in the summer exhibition Club to Catwalk, London Fashion in the 1980s (opening July 10), in addition to a loan of Zandra Rhodes’s jacket, which has been recently reunited with the group, and a Stephen Jones hat that was customised as part of the same project. The jackets will be displayed alongside many of their original sketches and a video wall which will show footage of the 1986 fashion gala… / Continued online


➤ Bowie at V&A: more than a rock star, Bowie reveals the process of art and design

David Bowie ,V&A exhibition, Davie Jones, Manish Boys, 1960s,Denmark Street, Tin Pan Alley,joesalama,YouTube

The first room at the V&A exhibition gives this glimpse of a pre-Bowie Davie Jones, aged 18, possibly filmed in Tin Pan Alley, London, in 1965… Click on pic to read the full story by Shapersofthe80s and view the home movie discovered in 2011

➢ 1965, Teenage Bowie flashes priceless smile to an amateur cine camera – read how the clip was found

V&A, review,exhibition, Geoffrey Marsh, David Bowie Is,

The V&A’s new exhibition David Bowie Is: “a grand stage for an inspirational artist who reshaped a generation”


❏ Just spent a blissed out evening at the V&A David Bowie is exhibition. It blew my mind! It is indeed a remarkable show… and to see all those pretty things that I’ve looked at in photos over and over again over the years is something akin to a religious experience… Not only is the clever curation of memorabilia and associated artefacts an inspiration (a lipstick stained tissue anyone?) but I got to personally thank both Mr Mick Rock and Mr Kansai Yamamoto for their wondrous workloads that helped transport me from village idiot to le freak! As the post-show party relocated from the V&A museum to The Rembrandt hotel across the road, the assembled fashion freaks, who also included fashion writer Judith Watt and costume designer Fiona Dealey, went crazy when Mr Yamamoto, who was responsible for many of Bowie’s flamboyant stage designs, entered. The fervour that greeted the legendary designer was akin to the Bowie-mania witnessed earlier in the evening when guests queued around the block to attend the private view.

➢ A great read about a great show – Sarah Crompton in the Telegraph, March 18:

In the opening room of the V&A’s new exhibition David Bowie Is, there is a four-second clip of film of a 17-year-old Bowie striding through the streets of Soho. The sun is shining, and as he catches sight of the camera he turns his bright blond head and smiles before vanishing from sight. The film was found on an old Super 8 camera. The amateur cameraman had been filming his wife in the Soho sunlight; it was quite by chance that he caught the nascent superstar. What is extraordinary is how, even then, Bowie behaves like the idol he was to become. If a camera is running, it must want to catch him in its lens. The mystery of David Bowie, the confidence that inspired a quiet boy from Bromley to become one of the most significant artists of his generation, hangs quietly over this entire show…

Geoffrey Marsh, a co-curator, says he is the first musical figure to be examined on such a scale: “This museum was set up to show how art and design work, to reveal the process. Although there have been a huge number of books about Bowie, they are by rock journalists and may not be of interest to the general public. The reason he is interesting is that he is more than a rock star”…

All the exhibits, presented using cutting-edge technology by – among others – the team behind the video projection at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, add to that sense of a fertile intelligence, changing constantly, shaping the world. You can see how firmly Bowie was in charge of everything he did.

The sheer grandeur [of the final room] brought tears to my eyes. I felt as I felt when I first saw Bowie live – simply glad to be in the same building as a man who could make music like this… / Full review at Telegraph online

➢ David Bowie is a retrospective exhibition of 300 possessions drawn from Bowie’s personal archive displayed at London’s Victoria & Albert museum, March 23–Aug 11.

David Bowie, NYC,The Next Day,Jimmy King, album charts,

Snowy Bowie, March 20: The Next Day debuts at #1 on charts in 12 countries and tops iTunes charts in 60. This week’s photo by Jimmy King

➢ Bowie is Go! Taster reviews for this week’s record-breaking V&A exhibition