The V&A in a day? Not a chance!

The V&A in a day? Not a chance!

Hi there. Thanks for dropping by. Just got in from London, after a fabby day with my friend Anita at the V&A. We visited both the Mary Quant AND the Christian Dior exhibitions. BOTH brilliant. Very different fashion houses, but BOTH inspirational. I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was younger ! Do you think I still have time to squeeze that career in? Worth a crack, hey ?!?

We dolled up for the occasion too. Went right back to the 60’s !!
It was fun!!

Mary Quant. What a Chelsea babe ! She certainly turned fashion on its head in the 60’s with the mini skirt and hotpants! Did you know she was self-taught and started out as a one man band? Yep, she bought the fabric at Harrods almost daily, cut and sewed her designs in her bedsit at night, then sold them the next day – and bought more fabric with the money she made from her one-offs!! Sounds like a gal after me own heart!! Still alive too. What a legend.

Hands up who wore mini skirts ! ( I still do)

And hands up who wore hotpants! I did, back in the day, but not sure I could pull it off nowadays !! Hahahaha. Perish the thought !!!

Now the Dior exhibit was a whole other scene. Couture at its finiset. Did you know that Dior actually only designed for 10 years before he died suddenly? But the fashion House of Dior is something so exquisitely creative, that most designers have come through that house – right up to today.

The fabrics, the colours, the cuts – overwhelming.

Up close, it looks like something we crafters could rustle up!!!
Achievable on black card, eh?
I jest. The embroidery is exquisite beyond words.

The interior setting of the exhibitions is pretty impressive, too. There was a room in the Dior area which was decorated with fantastic all white papercuts. Look!


There was another room which displayed all the collection prototypes. So the white toile shapes, made to check before going itno production. Superb.

Here’s the mock up, if you like…
…and here’s the real deal. Works of art – each and every one.

I love the V&A. We stayed there all day, wandering through the rooms, chatting as we looked. Great day out. We are both members. Well worth the annual subscription if you live in or around London.

Whilst general admission is FREE anyway, all the special exhibits which are going on year round are free to members, too. The V&A relies heavily on its members, and I feel strongly about supporting such an iconic cultural slice of heaven in London. If you have never been there, make it a destination on your bucket list. As I said to the young German student on the train headed for the city who was going exploring, “for me personally, the V&A is probably the most exciting place in London”.

Super day. Super company. A veritable explosion of style, colour and art. Life is good.

Back to work tomorrow. Big Open Day preparations. But I am all set to rock n roll now! We will have a blast!

Love and hugs,

Barb xxx

23 thoughts on “The V&A in a day? Not a chance!

  1. Oh my. I used to wear stuff I remember a red leather cap with a nib
    Long petrol blue boots knee high with laces up the front.
    Shorter boots in blue denim with yellow suede to caps and around the heel. Yee God’s I wish I could still wear them today lol especially the hot pants

  2. Oh wow, that looks amazing. What a great way to spend a Sunday and with a best mate too.
    I adored Mary Quant and wore VERY mini minis! I had to sneak out, so my dad wouldn’t see what I was wearing. Boys always used to let me go ahead of them up the stairs on the bus and I thought that they were well mannered! My favourites though, were my hot pants. Pale blue they were, with matching over the knee suede boots. I wish I had photographs, to embarrass my daughters and grandchildren 😂
    Those were the days! Have a good week and try not to overdo it. Hugs. Annette

  3. Spent a lovely day there with my sister about a year ago, lovely warm day so had lunch in the garden with children playing in the water fountain. I love the Dale Chihuly glass sculpture in the entrance hall. Glad you had a great day. XX

  4. Wow… What a wonderful day! And you both look so happy!
    I can remember when I was in top juniors I wanted a pair of hot pants but my mum wouldn’t pay for them as they were quite expensive. So I resigned myself to the fact I’d not have any. I can remember telling my grandad that mum wouldn’t let me have them and all my friends were getting them. His view of it all was if your mother says no it means no. So that was that.
    Imagine my surprise when I got home and there on a hanger were a pair of hot pants that mum had made. And they fitted perfectly. Bright pink they were with gold buttons. And she’d made me a flowery blouse to wear with them. Perfect! Mum was a primary teacher but I didn’t know til later that she’d actually trained in needlework and studied fashion in that course. So yes I wore hot pants and mini skirts despite having chunky legs. Ah well. I probably wouldn’t now mind you.
    Hope the open days go well. I do wish I could be there.
    Love and hugs Xxxx

  5. Never been to the V&A sounds brilliant. The photos of the dresses look amazing. Glad you had a great day with your friend. Did I wear mini skirts and hot pants, yes of course I did. Think we all did in the sixties and seventies. I remember I had a black pair of hot pants and with my red over knee leather boots thought I was the bees knees. I used to make most of my clothes in those days. Then it went to maxi dresses. What confidence I had back then. I don’t know what happened to that. xxx

  6. Never been to the V & A, think I ought to. As for mini skirts and hot pants I would loved to have worn them but not with my dodgy leg. Great to have a day out with a special friend, precious time. See you later in the week for the Open days, looking forward to those. x

  7. Yes I wore mini skirts but never hot pants. Did have a ‘pop art’ dress. Couldn’t run to Dior until my optician had some Dior glasses frames in stock.Couldn’t resist them at the time and still have them but try getting a new optician to fit lenses. Don’t know whether they are afraid of doing damage or just want us to buy their frames !!!
    Went to the V&A when I was doing a cake decorating course. The tutor said we could get inspiration from the exhibits for our designs on our cakes. It’s surprising what you can glean ideas wise if you really see what you are looking at. I still have the course material and often refer to it for my arty projects.
    So nice to have a day out with a good friend.
    Such a beautiful morning today we decided to go for a drive in the country. Took a wrong turn at one point and wow – what a fantastic countryside we have – lovely little villages, people waving at us from their gardens as we passed by, poppies by the wayside and animals in the fields, it cheered us up no end.
    Happy days 🍒🍒🍒

  8. Yes I wore mini skirts and hot pants back in the day, still would if i was younger.

    I had great legs then (if I say so myself) and have a photo somewhere of me in hot pants, winning the longest legs on Gatwick Airport competition

    Legs aren’t as long as they used to be (shrunk with age) and not quite so shapely, but I did buy a new pair of shorts today! – even if I only wear them in the garden – rofl!

  9. cor….this took me back. I love the V&A and would pop in if I had to be at a meeting in London (our HQ was at Lloyds of London – not far at all) I love the marble statuary – and it was always Yorkshire’s favourite price – free!! Time for a swank now – I have a Dior corset from a ‘new look’ suit. I took it to the antiques road show years ago and Hilary Kay valued it. It is fine net and boned, edged in pink. A work of art on it’s own!
    Hope you are all well.
    Maggie (Bendy Yorkite) – getting some lovely pictures of cat Bendy so I can use them in the pastel pet workshop in October – just after your visit to Leyburn!

  10. Good evening All
    I not only remember hot pants but I worked at a sewing factory where they made them.
    And as for mini skirts yep and platform shoes and shirts with the biggest collars and wide leg trousers with turn ups. Lol. Didn’t we think we were the bees knees
    You obviously had a wonderful day, enjoy the open day and see you at Leyburn 🤗

  11. Sounds like a great day out I did brave buying some hot pants was bit shy wearing them have a photo of me in them on holiday with a super women tea shirt was cartoon strip of superwomen did love that tee shirt.

  12. I, thankfully, was too young for either. The thankful part was even as a kid I had chunky legs lol 😁 I did have little wedge heel shoes though. May have to talk hubby into a weekend in the big smoke soon. Glad you had a great day out xx

  13. Hi Barb,
    Yes I certainly had mini skirts but not hot pants. I used to love Oxford Bag trousers too. I did much prefer the maxi and midi length clothes though. I can remember I went for a teacher training college interview at Avery Hill College of Ed wearing a brown suede mini skirt that cost a fortune! All to no avail though as they rejected me because they said kids in London wouldn’t be able to understand my NE accent and I would have to take elocution lessons before they would accept me. Needless to say I refused – I told them I had no intention of staying in London to teach ( which I thought was really quite brave for a 17 year old!). When I told my Grandma and uncle who I was staying with, they went crackers , my Mam wasn’t very impressed either. All of my Mams family were Cockneys and they reckoned that if they could understand me anyone could! I’ve been to the V& A a couple of times and I have to say it isn’t my favourite (sorry). I liked some of it and can see why fashion designers & students like it. I did go to see the Yves St Laurent exhibition that was held at Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. The V&A were not happy at all that Bowes got the exhibition ( the only one in England I believe) but that’s life! Anyway enough waffle, I’m pleased you had a super day with super company – you both look very happy I must say. Love and hugs,Alison xx

  14. Don’t over do it remember prioritise, delegate and every one will enjoy it anyway and understand the main thing is don’t get too tired that you can’t enjoy it New member .

  15. Glad you had a great time at the V & A Barbara, and a lovely photo of you and your friend. I wore minis and hot pants and I even had two or three wigs which I used to wear to the office as they were popular then. I always remember having to go down to the filing cabinet by keep a straight back and bending the knees as bending over was a definite no no…lol. I also went on holiday to Spain wearing my new hot pants which had a matching top. Those were the days! x

    1. I wore wigs too and had four, all different styles! On my first date with my now husband, in 1969, he arranged to pick me up and drove straight past, as I forgot that he had never seen me without a wig and I had a really short pixie cut! 😂 x

  16. Hi Barb, thanks for sharing this experience with us. Glad that you and Anita had a great day together. Mini’s yes up to about 15 years ago. Hot Pants, sometimes. Those were the days. Take care all. Bx

  17. I got married in 1971 and wore white boots under my wedding dress! The shoe was leather but the rest going up my leg was a lovely delicate lace. On honeymoon I wore them with my blue hot pants! OMG I thought I was so trendy but we laugh at those photo’s now.

  18. Hi Barbara
    How lovely to hear all you young ladies reminiscing about the fashion you all used to wear.
    I used to wear mini skirts and my mum made me some hot pants, but I think I was in primary school when it all started, so I don’t really think that I understood the impact that it was all having on the fashion industry.
    Fun days though. Looks like you had an amazing day with Anita.
    I love the photo of the paper cuts!!
    Love & Hugs

  19. Hi Barbara
    Sounds like you have had a fantastic day.
    I too love the V & A although the first time I visited I expected to see everything Victoria and Albert!! Know better now and you need a great deal of time and many visits to really appreciate this museum.
    Love you pictures and additional information really interesting.

  20. Hey get my coat off!!! Ha Ha looks lovely. I am just catching up and seeing if I have missed any Blogs. And I had missed this one. I would love to take Hannah to the V&A, I have been there myself but a long long time ago. We are definitely due a trip to London with the Kids.

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