Thursday, 20 June 2019

Quant, Dior and family in London

David and I had a brief break in London this past weekend. We had originally hoped to visit Cambridge but Alison et al were going to the Lakes to watch her father in law do the Iron Man challenge. Joanne was able to come from Cambridge  to London to meet up with us. In the end, Alison and Steven called off their trip to the Lakes and Alison and the boys came down to Helen's on Saturday evening.

On Friday, I visited the Mary Quant exhibition at the V&A. I am a little too young and lived too far away from anywhere to have been a Mary Quant girl. Then I was a student and couldn't afford the prices. I do remember buying a Mary Quant lipstick which I loved and I probably have her to thank for introducing tights long enough for my long legs - and of course I did wear mini skirts and dresses. I didn't wear her platform shoes though as I didn't need the extra height.

I really liked some of the designs. I was surprised by how expensive some of these clothes were - it made sense as to why I never bought them. Interestingly, I’ve spoken to a few people since I got back, many old enough to have worn Quant clothes, and they all said they simply couldn’t afford them. I had thought that Mary Quant was aimed at the masses but it clearly wasn’t.

I had a couple of definite favourites from the exhibition and hope my photos have come out well enough.

Interestingly, while watching one of the videos, the stylish older lady next to me told me that she had been a Mary Quant model in the 60s and we had a chat about that. She looked younger than her years, that's for sure. She hasn't yet been to the Dior exhibition but was hoping to pick up tickets one morning in the daily release (tickets are sold out).

Friday evening we met Helen and Anthony who took us out to Fish! at Borough Market. I'm still recovering from dental surgery and am not allowed to eat hard food so fish seemed ideal. I ordered their classic fish pie which was delicious.

We were staying in Greenwich. I hadn't been before. We visited the various markets, saw the Cutty Sark but didn't have time to go to the astrophotography exhibition, though I’ve seen the short-listed photographs online. We walked under the Thames through the pedestrian tunnel to the Isle of Dogs.

On Saturday, I met up with Helen and we went to the Christian Dior exhibition. Helen and her friend hadn't been able to get tickets but because I'm a member with a plus guest membership, Helen was able to accompany me and we could choose our time. The early members' hour on Saturday was just too early for us though! Helen hadn't been keen to go to the Quant exhibition as she saw those clothes as everyday and she wanted to see couture clothing.

I was surprised at how much Helen enjoyed the sparkles and feathers on some of the gowns! We both really enjoyed the toile room and the dressed miniature models. I’m not showing many photos since they don’t do justice to the garments and have been shown many times before

Meantime David was looking at some of the photography exhibits

Afterwards we met Joanne and went for lunch in Chelsea at The Phene and had a nice chat over a light lunch. I was exhausted by the time we got there as we had walked from the V&A  so afterwards we took a taxi to Helen's flat. This took an hour (public transport was quoting 80+ minutes) and was proportionately much cheaper than the taxi we took from the station to our house 5 minutes away.

Anthony prepared a lovely vegetarian chilli in part to cater for my older grandson who has become pescatarian and my requirement for softer food. Alison and the two boys arrived shortly after we got back; Steven took the opportunity of their cancelled weekend to catch up on some work so didn't come through.

We had a lovely evening. Joanne had been going to stay with Helen and travel home the next day after brunch in Greenwich but decided to go back in the car with Alison.

On Sunday, Helen wanted to take her Dad out for brunch for Father's Day. She and Anthony drove to Greenwich where we had a lovely brunch in The Royal Teas. Greenwich was very busy and lots of places were full. This place was so busy - turning away lots of people and was great even if not very salubrious looking on the outside! They were then going on to Anthony's parents and we were going home.

I took the opportunity of the train journey home to do some reading (The Secrets of Colour by Kassia St Clair) Marianne pointed out some factual inaccuracies in the account of the colour orange so while I’m enjoying the book, and it appears to be well researched, perhaps I need to read it with an element of scepticism?

I also did some catching up with blog posts - I hadn't realised just how many I had missed. I'm still not caught up - probably never will be.

I’m just about to embark on a journey to learn how to use Lightroom and Photoshop which I’ve just subscribed to. I’m attending a photography club with David and over the summer there are a number of classes. Flash photography and the use of layers in Photoshop. So you need to excuse my current photos - but perhaps my future photos will be better!!


  1. how lovey, I sure am envious of the 2 exhibitions you went to, both look brilliant

    1. Thank you. I enjoyed the exhibitions but enjoyed meeting family even more!

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