British Design From 1948: Innovation in the Modern Age Reveiw…

AGES AGO. Literally ages ago now. We (meaning me and le mum) went to this exhibition in the Victoria and Albert museum just as a time-filler before we waited for the next slot in the ‘Ballgowns’ exhibition. It turned out way more engrossing, interesting and generally better than the ballgowns, which would seem to be vaster and more impressive, but was infact not more than 40 dresses sat awkwardly on dramatic pose-y mannequins cloaked by rather small (I couldn’t be bothered to read) chunks of information about each…A somewhat harsh summary, but in my opinion it was mildly dull…However, the British Design showcase was completely diverse and just totally rad dude- it was fairly long and detailed, taking you through every era, systimaticly, carefully, at ease- showing new inventions at the time, discoveries, obbsessions…using a range of sculpture, textiles, furniture, art, anything to do with ‘the arts’ or design. It was simply fantastic. It started off annoyingly as this grumpy guard dude told my mum to stop talking on the phone (to some lady she was trying to get rid of) and I was like: ‘Ok. It’s security, but…abit cold. What d’you think we’re gonna be? {LIKE} mother-daughter terrorists. Yesh anytime.’ Obviously I didn’t say that, but I thought it as he stalked off suspiciously giving me the evils…

Anyway, I’m just going to tell you abit about it, my favourite bits and take some photos from this HUGE-AWE-MOUS book my Mum bought for me (after I pleaded and promised I’d lump the great thing all the way home…) It started off with some sketches and all that kind of London ‘design’ shiz and then they had this traffic light that was flashing red-amber-green (DUH) and they had the names and some info about the people who designed the traffic light and the ‘kids-walking-to-school-so-don’t -run-them-over’ sign- and all those street signs/arrows. Then there was some cool interiors: tables and wall papers (and all that jazz) from the sixties- All so cool. They had these awesome chairs, well, four awesome chairs. One of the chairs (was) concaved inwards to a smooth purple leather seat and had folds of clean spotless white supporting and surrounding it. One was a simple (comic_book_looking) chair with two holes in it and was painted a sunny, full yellow all the way down to it’s normal-ish spindally legs. One chair was sleek and shiny metal with squidgy coushened in’ards- that would be fit for any rockin’ diner 50s diner! And the last by Peter Murdoch was made of paper and looked like one half of an egg holder- they were only about 1p (or something each) and they sold more than 2000! Behind each chair was a funky wallpaper. I wish I lived in the sixties!

The next bit of the exhibiton, section 2, was about SUBVERSION (just remember the proper name haha): new style or something along the lines. It was all the revolution and the rebelness and all that shiz that happened between THEN and NOW. Oh, I don’t know…Don’t listen to me. I snapped some pictures sneakily on my Mum’s phone, but alas, they are nowwhere. It started with this cool plastic-looking thing that could’ve been out of ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’ and a colorful collection of pop-art inspired toys crowding round it’s feet, then there were some less traditional paintings, all smudged together with a casual attitude and most had slogans accompanying them scrawled round the sides. Whatever. I’m not a good explainer. Then there was this chair that keep popping up in the corner of my eye and annoying me- I was generally embarressed to be caught looking at such a disgusting thing: it was a lady wearing only her underwear trapped underneath the chair with her legs sticking out, it was most odd and seemed almost abusive so I couldn’t be bothered to take a photo. Then they had the creator of the ‘mini’ car and beside that a video about the rise of sexualisation of women within the whole industry really, especially the fashion and media industry- there was a particular focus on a certain photographer (in the 60’s I think) who took particularly provocative photos of women, but often depicted them as weak and vunerable or something like that. I couldn’t remember his name because I AM SO SMART. Does that make sense? :C/

Then there was some focus on the sex pistols and rock and the 80’s to 90’s. It had a bit on new magazines coming up: Pop and what not. And their creators. Close by there was some very radical furniture- most very sleek and modern and some were glowing as people discovered they could use UV and all that lighting shiz! They even had some pieces from a reasonably famous pharmacy /SLASH/ resturant /SLASH/ cafe /SLASH/ bar shop in Notting Hill by Damien Hirst in 1997- he interiors were amazing- the wallpaper had pills on it, the stools were the shapes of pills and everything was terribly medical orientated and nearly trendy. The exhibition was so good it even had a bit on fashion- they had one of the legendary McQueens dresses ( from his 09 ‘Horn Of Plenty’ collection)- and Hussein Chalayan’s tulle dress, you know? That dress that you know is his STRAIGHT AWAY: it’s his signiture not tight-fitted, but shape-ly and structured and unatural: it’s {LIKE} a huge egg, plonked on a model- all white and red tipped at the top. I don’t know how he made it. It’s amazing, such good work, just so well made. I love designers who actually ‘design’ their collection like the art that it should be really, if that makes sense? Meh. I haven’t really had the time *ahemhem(been-bothered)ahemhm* to read all the info in the book, but I particularly loved these paragraphs concerning what I’ve just been speaking ’bout.

The last bit of the exhibition was all to do with technology and was pretty boring. Ok it was actually pretty good I was just tired. IT WASN’T BORING PEOPLE!!!!!!!! They had some cool stuff. And, I mean, you get the gist right? I didn’t pay much attention :CP Here are afew photos (below)…Anyway after the whole exhibition they had a shop {LIKE} (DUH) with hardbacks of the book of mine- you could even buy afew things from the exhibiton (i.e furniture etc) which I sooo would’ve got if I had bunny-loads of money (bunnies because I’m not allowed to swear), they even had this Hussein Chalayan tee-shirt and some scarfs with prints on them, which were pretty rad. All together, I hope I haven’t given away to much (ok, I’ve basically taken you through the whole thing, but whatever…)- it’s defintately an exhibition worth seeing! And I hope this hasn’t been to boring. Just look at the pictures if you can’t be bothered anyway.

Ok so I have to go now, but I’m still talking…WHY? WHY am I so awkward? Ok lol. I really have to go now. Ok bye PEOPLE/readers/rookies/dogs/cats/dogwalkers/catwalkers… Ok bye. Ok bye. k bye. bye. ye. e. You see what I did there? I’m talking to myself now. Ok bye. See you tommorow/today/whatever….

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