The Victoria and Albert Museum…

© Copyright Robin Webster and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

It has been 14 months since lockdown brought a halt to the activities that we used to enjoy and we are only now seeing the emergence of inside dining, theatre visits and shopping. One of my missed pastimes has been going to the museum, seeing exhibitions and being around people. I was booked to attend the Victoria and Albert Museum (Est. 1852) in South Kensington.

© Copyright Dome with Dale Chihuly’s contemporary sculpture- Drew Reynolds

My first trip back was on the 19th May 2021, I was surprised at the excitement I felt when showing my pre-booked ticket at the entrance and being allowed into the museum from the Exhibition Road entrance. It felt surreal walking towards the large glass doors of the museum, maybe not exactly Lewis Carrol’s vision but my own slide down the rabbit hole. I have been familiar with this museum for many years but being given the freedom and autonomy to make plans in booking and visiting still felt eerily uncanny. This feeling soon disappeared when I stepped into the museum and was welcomed back it felt like being taken under mother hen’s wing again.

The staff were immensely welcoming and helpful as though the galleries and exhibitions had been opened for me personally. The spark of excitement lit up greater as I wandered throughout the numerous rooms and corridors filled with artefacts and their corresponding labels. There were families, friends, museum workers and myself all grateful for the re-opening and welcoming back visitors to the previously silent and still museum.

Unfortunately, the Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser was not yet open to the public (now open and extended to 31 December 2021), but I have managed to secure a ticket for July. I did manage to see the Bags: Inside Out which I would highly recommend for any fashion lovers out there, or those interested to see the process of bag making and history of the design of bags.

Louis Vuitton and Takashi Murakami ‘Eye Need You’ bag, Spring-Summer 2003. France (c) Victoria and Albert Museum London

The V&A never fails to disappoint and even the Bags: Inside Out exhibition was eye opening to the bag novice, the tools used, the processes, the length of time from design to product. I especially liked the projected videos of processes being shown on the walls of the space in conjunction with the breakdown of parts of the bag. I found it fascinating.

I recall looking at a calligraphy set in the China room and a girl of about ten rushing past me to get a closer look, her blond ponytail swishing behind her as she looked intently at the objects on display before moving onto the next, her trainers thumping the floor as she moved from one section to another. It was this excitement that I loved, albeit mine a little more contained; the joy of seeing something new, learning something that you never would have known before and feeling part of something again after so many months cooped up at home. I walked through the newly refurbished Raphael Cartoon Court where the tapestry’s hang dwarfing myself and the other visitors (unfortunately I missed HRH Kate Middleton) the vastness of the court took me by surprise as I sat and looked on in awe. The Cast Courts and Medieval and Renaissance Rooms (1350-1600) always impress.

©Copyright Cast Courts V&A- Drew Reynolds

I also enjoyed walking through the Buddhism room, Sculpture Corridor, the John Majenski Garden where people were relaxing and having a coffee near the central pool. The weather had improved since my arrival and the sun shone, illuminating the  collections gloriously. I saw artists sitting sketching the sculptures, families walking hand in hand through the exhibits and pointing out objects of interest to one another. I saw a group of teenagers taking photographs of each other posing in the sculpture room mimicking the poses of those around them. There was a sense of ‘normality’ and joy at being able to participate in the first day of opening since lockdown in 2020. Even behind my mask I was smiling at everyone, even though they couldn’t see me.

©Copyright Topiary at the John Majenski Garden- Drew Reynolds

I was able to grab a swift lunch at the Members’ Room before heading out. I passed through the gift shop and browsed the merchandise, books, scarfs, postcards, something to fit every budget even mine. I would say a big thank you to the staff at the Victoria and Albert Museum for making my visit as a solo visitor warm and looking after me. I daresay that my next visit will be in the near future to try to see the many other rooms and levels that I was unable to fit into my 3 hour visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Do You?

I don’t want my friend to be fearful of walking home.

I don’t want my fiancé to be terrified of being alone with her boss.

I don’t want my colleague to feel silenced or less than.

I don’t want my neighbour to be afraid and dictated by dusk. 

I don’t want my partner to be wolf whistled when walking to the shop for some milk.

I don’t want my Grandmother ignored or disregarded because of her sex.

I don’t want my mother to be the butt of a joke between blokes.

I don’t want my sister to be leered at and made to feel uncomfortable.

I don’t want my daughter to change her wardrobe to prevent being attacked.

Do you?…

Mary Stuart: Queen of Scotland… and Runway

A life cut short through loss, betrayal leading to imprisonment and finally execution doesn’t fill me with positivity.


There have been a many depictions of Mary Stuart in film from Katharine Hepburn in Mary Queen of Scotland (1936) to Das Herz der Königin (The Heart of the Queen) (1940) a 1940’s German interpretation which saw Zara Leander in a historical musical role, yet one of the aspects of the movies that abide (majoritively) to the sixteenth century fashions also find themselves seeping into the creations of luxury designers.

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Shaken and Stirred Style: Classic to Contemporary Bond

Bond,…James Bond

I was brought up in a family where the Bond films were predominant on the television form Dr. No (1962) to Spectre (2015). Cinema trips would be organised when a new Bond film is released and the broadcasting of the films in the franchise would be enjoyed throughout the year.

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Fashion: On Screen


Over the years there are films that have given us great fashion viewing, some famously popular and some that have received less acclaim. The following titles are but a few that have offered great outfits, interesting plots and complex protagonists.

Holly Golightly & Paul Varjack

Lets start off with a classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) where Holly Golighlty (Audrey Hepburn) and Paul Varjack (George Peppard) meet when Varjack moves into the same apartment block. The iconic sheath little black Givenchy dress that hugs Hepburn’s slender figure made of Italian satin epitomizes her character. Hepburn was famously a friend of Hubert de Givenchy, however it was Edith Head that assisted with costume support on the movie and had to re-design the dress for screen as the original showed too much leg. Read more

Catsuits and Catwalks

Life’s a b***h. So am I.

One of my earliest memories with regards to film is when I was allowed to see Tim Burton’s Batman Returns (1992) in which Michelle Pfeiffer played the awkward bullied secretary to Max Shrek (Christopher Walken) who is pushed to her death and is reborn thanks to a clowder of felines into Catwoman. Most audiences would be focused on the remarkable transformation of Pfeiffer into her anti-hero, I was however transfixed on her wardrobe designed by Mary Vogt.

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Runway to Red Carpet

Numerous models have transitioned from the runway into the movie world…

From the outset modelling offers many opportunities to meet fabulous designers, walk the runways of Milan, Paris, New York and London and even acting. And no I am not talking about acting in the way that the Kardashians do for the camera I mean actually trained creating interesting and enjoyable movies.

Taking direction from the likes of Grace Jones and Twiggy the models below show that they are more than a pretty face and fierce walk.

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The Handmaid’s Tale: Runway


Under his eye.

Hulu’s adaptation of  Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale couldn’t have arrived at a more pivotal time amongst an atmosphere of uncertainty and disbelief in the real world audiences tune into the second season for escapism and searching for hope for the protagonist Offred/June (Elisabeth Moss).

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