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Posts Tagged ‘Somerset House’

Storyteller

In Day to Day on January 27, 2013 at 11:07 am

Seeing as the wonderful exhibition Tim Walker: Storyteller finishes today, I thought it was a good time to publish my review of loads of reasons you should go, and just one why you shouldn’t.

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You don’t have to be an avid reader of Vogue, or any of the other huge fashion names associated with Walker’s photography to appreciate his brilliant approach, as it’s his creativity and boundless imagination which makes his work so captivating. As well as photographs, of course, the fairly small exhibition features a selection of the huge props he has used over the years, from an insect playing the cello, to a fairly creepy giant doll waving you off as you leave the last room.

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Drawing comparison to Annie Leibovitz, his talent lies in creating incredible sets and stories – the photograph merely captures this in a perfect image at the last moment.

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Tim Walker insect

In my opinion, it’s his take on Edward Scissorhands and the recurring theme of skeletons that really show how he manages to use some of the more sinister aspects of the world of fantasy to show off beautiful clothes.

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And the one reason you shouldn’t go? The Rizzoli gift shop is SO disappointing – for £3 a postcard, I expect at least more than one choice (the Humpty Dumpty image used in all the advertising for the exhibition). Same goes for the posters. With such an incredible range of work on display in the actual exhibition, it would be nice to see some of the same variety in the shop. But that’s it, my only complaint, you should definitely get up and go to the exhibition right now.

They might even reduce that postcard as it’s the last day…

Get your skates off

In Day to Day on December 4, 2012 at 9:44 pm

COVENT GARDEN, SOMERSET HOUSE, THE STRAND

So, last weekend I managed get nail varnish remover spilt on my beloved MacBook Pro. Obviously in no way my own fault, it still meant a Sunday trip up to the Mac Store in Covent Garden and a very long wait seeing as their online booking system is totally shit.

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With 4 hours to kill between getting there and my vital 15 minute appointment with them geniuses at the Genius Bar, I guilt-tripped a couple of friends into spending the day in Covent Garden. Turns out ‘I’m so sad, I’ve potentially lost all of my photos of me larking around on a beach in Thailand’ tugs at the heartstrings in more ways than you would expect and they eagerly jumped on the train to meet me.

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First off, while waiting for my friends to spend a day waiting with me, I stopped off at Somerset House. It’s so pretty once they’ve put up the skating rink, I challenge anyone to go there and not start to feel a bit Christmassy. I watched everyone whizzing around (no falls) for a bit, but it’s not as fun as actually going on the ice so made my way towards the exhibitions. There’s loads on at the moment, and most of it’s free, so I’d massively recommend heading up there if you’re looking for something to do of a weekend while still saving up the pennies for important festive things like booze and Christmas presents and a sequinned dress for the office party.

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The first exhibition I went to is just to your left as you walk into the main reception. In the late 1940s black-and-white photographer Cartier-Bresson said that ‘colour photography is not up to the mark; prove me wrong’. Curator William Ewing has set about doing just that in ‘Cartier-Bresson: A Question of Colour‘, by showcasing a number of photographers working in colour who also adopt Cartier-Bressons hallmark ‘decisive moment’ style of photo.

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For the exhibition Ewing has chosen contemporary photographers including my favourites Karl Baden, Ernst Haas, Fred Herzog, Joel Meyerowitz, Alex Webb and Trent Parke. Each interprets the ethos in their own way but all display incredible talent for powerful capturing split-second moments.

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Next up, Night Paintings from Paul Benney. The curation and location of this exhibition make it a worthwhile visit as it’s situated underneath the ice rink in a series of hidden passageways and atmospheric chambers. The space, known as Deadhouse, has never been used for an exhibition before and actually contains the gravestones of 17th century courtiers within the vaults and set into the walls. To find out more, there are free organised tours every Thursday and Saturday. Also, if you were left dying to find out more after reading my blog post on how London is romanticised in films, Deadhouse plays Newgate prison in the 2009 Sherlock Holmes film.

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I squeezed in the Henri-Besson photo exhibition and Paul Benney’s Night Paintings exhibition but am heading back this weekend so that I can see the Valentino and Timothy Walker exhibitions – to be honest I want to give them more time as I’ve heard that both are brilliant.

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Seeing as I’ve tagged and led this with spilling nail varnish remover on a MacBook, here’s a link to what you should do straight away (which I didn’t). You’re welcome.

London Fashion Week

In Day to Day on September 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm

SOMERSET HOUSE

This is a rather delayed post, considering we are now on the last day of London’s most fashionable week – with shows including Mulberry, Clements Ribiero, PPQ, Burberry, Christopher Kane, Jaeger and Marios Scwab having shown their catwalk collections. Rather than a run down of the catwalk shows and reports, this piece acts to encourage anyone who Happens to be In London (see what I did there?) during fashion week, to go. It is an experience not quite like any other, and a chance to see some amazingly dressed people while you’re there.

For me, the enjoyment lies in watching new season collections stomping past and looking for new trends as well as admiring what everyone else has turned out in. Even if it is just to stop outside Somerset House and look at what everyone is wearing, or to try your hand at some celeb papping, there is nothing that quite matches up. Once you have your exhibition pass, make the most of it and take a look around Somerset House, as well as the shows you have tickets for.

Something that often gets left out are the exhibition rooms around Somerset House – I urge you to look around these as they are a fascinating opportunity to see examples of design and creativity up close, plus talk to the designers in person about the collections. My favourite is usually the Headonism room curated by milliner extraordinaire Stephen Jones – this year on the ground floor (rather than the lower ground) and right next to the BFC Press Lounge. The milliners showing in the East Wing for SS12 include Charlie Le Mindu, Piers Atkinson, Noel Stewart and J. Smith Esquire and the stands (although crammed into quite a small room) are beautiful.

On the Lower Level, you will find the BFC Screening room and the BFC Elle Talent Launch Pad – this year with Sophie Hulme and Claudia Catzefils. Hulme is one of my favourite emerging designers, with fond memories for me as I wrote this piece about her many months ago when I started this blog. I love her classic pieces with gold accents and amazing jewellery – so go and see her stand!

Fashion week poses the rare opportunity to glimpse into the future and see the trends we will be wearing come next summer, plus really appreciate some truly amazing British design and homegrown talent.