I’m a big fan of sixties girl bands and Northern Soul, so I was quite looking forward to seeing the V&A Museum’s latest exhibition, The Story of The Supremes. Despite the fact the museum has been criticised for “dumbing down” its exhibitions with populist inclusions like the Kylie retrospective, I was excited by the prospect of seeing a collection of the group’s iconic costumes and learning a bit more about the history of Motown.
So when I headed over to the museum on Sunday and reached the first showcase in the exhibition, it’s fair to say I was surprised and disappointed when blaring techno music started playing from the fashion show next door. It basically drowned out The Supremes and various video exhibits featuring recorded speeches by Martin Luther King. Not exactly what I was expecting for the opening weekend of a music-led exhibition, which documents the rise of African American music in sixties America (ie. Motown actually being HEARD by the predominant mainstream white audience).
Initial disappointment aside, the exhibition was, of course, a hit, with a fantastic line-up of some of The Supremes’ most spectacular glittery, bugle-bead encrusted costumes. I particularly loved their earlier creations like the fitted shantung silk shifts and the tiered ruffled chiffon dresses. These frocks were designed to MOVE and accentuate their trademark shimmies and shakes.
Some other costume highlights:
The Story of the Supremes from the Mary Wilson Collection
(until October 19)
The V&A Museum
London SW7 2RL
Tel. 020 7942 2966
Thanks to Fiona for the tip!
Three cheers for Fifi Lapin and her most stylish return to Etsy. If you haven’t already heard of the blogosphere’s hottest style icon (what, have you had your head stuck down a rabbit hole?), Miss Lapin is a fashion fiend who loves to work the latest catwalk looks.
Like all good It Girls, Fifi has developed somewhat of an air of mystery surrounding her identity. We do know that she’s an only child, (her 256 siblings suffered the tragic fate of a myxomatosis outbreak) and subsequently “the sole haress to her father’s fortune”. From what I’ve gleaned from her extremely addictive blog, Miss Lapin lives in a London burrow.
Fifi has recently made a triumphant return to her Etsy shop wearing Spring/Summer 08 Eley Kishimoto (gotta love her taste). You are guaranteed an absolute original artwork here, as Fifi never wears the same things twice (natch).
[Edit: The Eley Kishimoto print sold just as I was publishing this post. If you're after an original Fifi Lapin artwork, keep checking the Etsy shop for new items]
Bird candles, £4.50 each, from Pedlars.
Still with Time Out London … in the April 24 issue Dan Jones writes about moustaches and the Handlebar Club, where London’s “moustached elite” gather at the Windsor Castle pub every Friday. He suggests that if you can’t grow your own, you fake it with a falsie.
Have you noticed there’s a ‘tache trend growing at the moment? Specifically, indie girls and moustaches. Last year it was all about getting a moustache tattooed on your index finger for an instant (and tricky) disguise.
But now it’s all about old-school moustache disguises (and most importantly, being photographed in said disguise). Not to mention “moustaching”, the classic method of defacing photos and magazine ads. In fact, you can purchase vinyl stickers for this very purpose from Moustache Me, who claim they are “upper lip vigilantes with a world vision of peace and moustaches for all.”
There’s also a growing popularity for moustache motifs. Just key in “moustache” into the search engine on Etsy and you’ll find all manner of mos, with whiskers spreading across necklaces and brooches to mirrors and pillows.
Which ‘tache suits you? Check out my top Etsy picks:
When it comes to shopping in London, the expert team at Time Out have an eagle’s eye approach to uncovering new and unexplored gems, from fashion stylists’ secret haunts (like the cheap costume jewellery stall in Dalston) to the only shop in London that stocks the entire Sylvanian Families back catalogue.
Last week Time Out's shopping section went online, with a comprehensive archive of some of their best-ever stories, including “London’s top 20 thrift stores”, “London’s essential services”, and “London’s best museum shops”.
And right now, they're busy canvassing votes for the 2008 Shopping Awards. There’s a wide array of categories and lots of independent retailers to choose from. For me, Broadway Market wins hands-down for “best place to lose yourself for an afternoon” (but only because I can only ever tackle Dover Street Market in the morning, accompanied by a good cup of coffee and a slice of Rose Bakery carrot cake). Vote for your favourite London shops here.