Sunday, January 31, 2016

Living the London life

When University says you're going on a trip to London for exhibition research only, obviously the first word going through my head is IMPOSSIBLE. Although when you study Fashion Communication as a subject this instantly means shopping is actually research. Sorry to say to all you none fashion students, that are probably currently sighing in unison right now, that visual merchandising and expereices of the whole fashion retail world is just as vauable research as galleries. Excellent news for me, but not so excellent news for my purse.

Tate Modern- artists galore 

The Tate Modern gallery was in the perfect location. Standing noble right on the River Thames opposite the Millennium Bridge it really was in a picturesque scenery. With St Paul's right opposite in the distance as well there's nothing you can really complain about. 
Inside the private exhibitions were of artist Alexander Calder and The World Goes Pop involving several artists. Two exhibitions that were only a few yards away from each other, but two extremely different types of work. Calder's work is dainty, light and very fragile playing with shapes and shadows in a simplistic way, whilst World of Pop did exactly what it says in the title, and that is make your eyes POP (word of advice, maybe don't go in that exhibition if you're a sufferer of epilepsy, the bright colours might just blow you away). It was like stepping from a geometric pod into an almighty jungle of colour. 
As well as the two main exhibitions there's the other work of artists the tate displays proudly on their walls. I as a person love looking through the art galleries to see masses of different artists with such an interesting way of working, however please don't be one of those people who stands and reads EVERY single plaque of text. There's only so much you can take in surely? 

The Welcome Gallery- lift out of order? who cares

The first gallery we explored was the Welcome Gallery opposite Euston Station. With a suitcase each we stumbled into the revolving door of the gallery, opposed an enormous set of stairs with a gasp of terror at lifting a suitcase full of clothes and make-up, whilst also greeting a former bit of home as the work of Antony Gormley's "Man on the beach" (Formby beach, Liverpool) was hanging right above our heads from the ceiling.
If you've ever entered this building the most amazing structure you'll ever see before you even glance into the exhibitions is the staircase. Swirling steel makes you sit there and question how is that shape even possible to mould into a humongous staircase. The awe of it made me even take the stairs rather than the lift, and if you know me that's a very rare occasion.
The two exhibitions presented were Tibet's Secret Temple and and Medicine Man. The Secret Temple showcased numerous works of art mainly from China and the religion Buddhism which to my surprise even involved a monk hand drawing with special powder paint onto a table for an upbeat design that oosses Chinese temple. Be that as it may, the work he created was truly amazing but I could't help but wonder what if I 'accidentally' blew on the masterpiece, would it literally fly away into nothingness? Someone needs to be brave/ rude enough to try this but I seriously wouldn't dream of it. Medicine Man took you on a whole different experience, walking into a very white space, typical of a traditional gallery as you're greeted by a slice of human remains. Okay that last part, not so traditional.

The V&A- please take a map

The artist's paradise. The V&A is most defiantly the Queen of the galleries. With departements from fashion to Japan, Europe and modern materials there's so much to see that it's highly impossible to take in all this information all in one visit. As you work your way further and further up the incredible architecture made of beautiful marble you notice how the numbers of people decrease as they eventually give into the imense amount of artefacts to study. The best advice I can give you is space it out and don't ruin it for yourself, too much cake can make you sick and so can too much art. Take your time and come back over the course of a few days to really appreciate the amazing exhibitions the V&A has to offer.

Zooology- weird and wonderful

You're probably thinking what on earth was I contemplating going to an exhibition which is basically made up of dead animals in jars. Yes, it sounds absolutely disgusting but at the same time increasingly interesting to see all kinds of animals upclose in a tight jar. The whole experience of the museum resembled a Harry Potter type of feel as though lotions and potions were to be found behind every wooden pane that ran right up to the ceiling.

Markets- roll up for extra colourful fruit and veg 

Ask any Instagramer, the best images you're going to take of the most colourful and quirky looking food is at a market. We're forever floundering in restaurants and cafe's to get the perfect shop when we know full well that lighting is not doing us any favours. Let's face it, when we're away on holiday we can't help but ewe and awe at the variety and luminous colour the markets of foreign food and suveniers offer us. Borough Market is well known for their huge array of bright fruit and veg and I really didn't miss a trick (or picture) when I casually strolled through with a scent of fish and freshly cut bread sweeping through the air.

Dover street markets- DON'T TOUCH

Owned and created by Commes Des Garçons  Dover Street Markets sits very remotely inbetween the back streets of Oxford Street. One whole level of the building is made up of the Japanese label Commes Des Garçons whilst other floors involve several different high fashion retailers. One thing about this store is the urge to not touch. NEVER in fashion retail is there ever a time where we don't want to touch a product to feel the weight, fabric and to get our fashion urge to buy running through our veins. HANDS OFF in this circumstance. I've never been so scared to touch and mess up the most beautiful displays of products I've come across, even with a fingertip (they could trace me and have me wanted for the all time visual merchandiser ruiner). Every single noock and crany of this place involved different types of displays they would avert your brain into a whole new creative ambition. Steel work, wood work, any kind of material you can think of probably fits in here somewhere- yes very miss-match but all compliments each other to a T.

Oxford Street

From Selfridges, Anthropologie and Liberty these three amazing stores really do transport you to a whole new creative and weird way of thinking you never thought would be possible. A dentistry made up of clothing, don't be ridiculous! Oh no, it's bonkers for sure- but we love it. I'll say no more, just soak up the pure bonkersness and beauty of the genius that is visual merchandising. 

London life- eat it, drink it, explore it.

Sure, it wasn't a tourist trip but I couln't help but take the occasional tourist trademark image. Trafalgar Square? Check. Piccadilly Circus? Check. St Paul's? Double check. 
FOOD is literally my instagram so obviously I had to grace the food that passed my lips in london town to the hungry eyes of Instagram. Again, I'll say no more, just look at the sushi and your tummy will rumble.

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