Yesterday I had a day out in London with Gill to see the Valentino Exhibition at Somerset House. It was a stunning exhibition with 130 gowns on show. It was arranged so that we were walking along a catwalk and the dresses were where the audience would usually be, so it was a chance to see each gown right up close and in detail.
There were several stunning dresses and the couture detailing, embroidery and beading were amazing... yet I have to say (and eavesdropping on other conversations we were not the only ones to think so) there were some hideous creations too... numerous monstrosities in awful colours with far too much embellishment thrown at each dress
I certainly wouldn't want to wear the dress below to my Oscar ceremony! Yet the highlight of the exhibition for me was a small display at the end showing some of the couture techniques up close with a film of how they were achieved. I came home determined to try some out... although when I googled "Budellini" which was one of the techniques on show I discovered it was Italian for "Intestines" which is not quite what I had in mind!
After the exhibition and some lunch we braved the bitter cold and had a wander through Covent Garden and on to Soho to do a bit of window shopping (we were both very restrained shoppers yesterday!) ending up in the fabric shops of Berwick street.
In Broadwick Silks (a fabulous shop) we spotted this amazing embroidered fabric covered in sketchy portraits. At £85 per metre it was a little over our budget but they very kindly let us take a photo and I even came away with a tiny sample... with a view to trying my own version.
At our last Spectrum meeting I got the ladies to draw portraits of each other. The purpose of the exercise was not to end up with great works of art or fabulous likenesses but to make them realise that to make good drawings that record information we can use later, we need to spend more time looking at the subject we are drawing rather than at our sheet of paper.
Although I have to say I do often think I'm wasting my time as whilst some members happily embrace whatever exercise I throw at them, I still get all the usual comments of "I hate drawing" and "I don't do portraits" which seems to me to be missing the point completely. The point being it is excellent practise in being more observant, in being able to record information, which in turn will make for better designs and ultimately better work... but I fear I am wasting my breath!
But I digress... because I dug out my own portraits from the last meeting (very sketchy and very rough) and used them and other sketches from my sketchbook to produce a small sample of my own "portrait fabric".
Yes... you are all in there ladies... but I'm not letting on who is who!
Thank you for you kind messages after my last post. Our poor hen never did return home so we are down to just one chicken... but thinking of indroducing a couple of companions for her.