Monday, 8 September 2014

Hulanicki at the V&A

Oh my giddy aunt, what a night I had on Friday at the V&A Museum. It was so exciting.

V&A courtyard

The mister and I travelled up early in the day and had a smashing time, mooching around the Borough market and Southbank, before going on to the V&A for some nosh and to see and listen to one of my heroines, Barbara Hulanicki. You know, of Biba fame.

Barbara Hulanicki


Big Biba


I have missed out on seeing this lady in person so many frustrating times, always just finding out about events a wee bit too late. But not this time. Cock-a-Hoop doesn't even begin to cover it.

The chair for the event started proceedings by telling us all how lucky we were to get tickets. Duh, yes we know lady.

The lecture theatre was packed to the hilt. Looking at the members of the audience was almost as exciting as seeing Barbara.

Celia Hammond, Pauline Stone and Twiggy.
All of these beautiful models from the swinging sixties were sitting alongside me, enjoying every minute of Barbara's conversation. During question time, Twiggy spoke of her admiration and fondness for Barbara, remembering times when she would bicycle over to Biba in her lunch hour to spend her pocket money. And of course the times she modelled for Barbara once her own career took off.



Barbara was very humble about her contribution to the fashion world and came across as a very sweet and genuine sort of person. All to quickly the event was over. But it continued pleasingly when we were invited down to one of the galleries for a wine reception and book signing, where I managed to get a few pics of Miss. Hulanicki taking time with her fans.





The V&A regularly hold events on Friday evenings. This one was a ticketed event but the last Friday of every month (except December) they hold free drop in sessions with DJ's, food, drinks and late-night exhibition openings. If I lived a bit nearer and had access to the tube I would be there every Friday I think. It is such a cool place to be, the surroundings are truly beautiful and the food and drink offer is really very good.

10 comments:

  1. What a brilliant day Jean! I'd love to have gone to that. I loved the Biba style. We had a family holiday to London one year when I was about 10 years old and we visited the Biba shop. It was just so different and unusual and I thought it was amazing - piles of coloured boots on the floor and people just rummaging through them (myself included). I can't remember much more about it but I just remember I loved it and was so disappointed when I heard that the Biba shop was closing down years later.

    Carol

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    1. Terrible shame it closed. It was truly a fantastic place. Although you can still eat and drink at the rooftop terrace restaurant and look down at the Flamingos. It's called the Babylon Lounge now, lunch is keenly priced.
      Jean
      x

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  2. I love the V&A, must pay a visit soon :) I also love Borough Market and South Bank. I think a trip to London is on the cards :)

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  3. Oooh! What a wonderful outing!

    A friend and I talked about visiting the V&A museum when they had a David Bowie exhibition on, but we never made it in the end.

    I will visit there one day x

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    1. Yvonne do go, it's my most favourite museum. I've loved it since I was a nipper.
      Jean
      x

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  4. SWOON!
    I remember Ms Hulanicki's first public "offering" - a mail order gingham mini-dress, for sale in the Daily Mirror in 1964 - I missed out on that as my parents thought buying by mail order was too risky. Then her Kensington Church Street shop opened in 1965. I got as far as the door, but didn't think I was cool enough to enter!

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    1. Shame you missed out on that dress, it's the one pictured above as worn by Miss Stone. Apparently 17, 000 were ordered from that ad, and they were expecting a few hundred to be ordered, they didn't even have enough fabric to make them all. The beginning of an era.

      Jean
      x

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  5. Oh my goodness I would love to visit the V&A on a Friday evening, or any other time come to that. Wish I lived closer; it’s such a trek from Somerset. Feeling all down in the dumps now! No, not really, I enjoyed hearing about your night and pretending I was there :-)

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  6. Cripes! BIBA! There's a memory. Only went there once with a mate who had shaved off her eyebrows ( was that the fashion then??) and "needed" pots of BIBA glittery purple eye shadow and flat white face powder to complete the look. I think I was too stunned by the experience to actually buy anything but I recall the shop had a peculiar and lovely fragrance. Patchouli?

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    1. Yes Laura, I remember shaving off my eyebrows too and wearing bottle green eye shadow and black nail varnish. well it was a look:)

      Jean x

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