Living in jobless London is proving to be an exercise in frugality, and what better way to do things under £10 a day than try out all the Free Things. It’s quite impossible to choose a favourite, each one is bent a different way, and those ways I find equally interesting.
However, the V&A holds a special place for me, as it was unexpectedly wonderful. I had heard about the collection of various bits & pieces of fashion, china & glassware, and thought of the collection as some sort of glorified craft cabinet, which was not unappealing. Yes, I had clearly not done my research. I have been several times now, and still have not managed to see everything in there.
The Victoria & Albert Museum was created to house things collected for the Albert’s Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace. There is a sense of time travel as you pass through the rotating doors, although the mandatory bag check is a reminder of what age I live in. There’s medieval collections that are wonderfully presented, complete with interactive touch screen computers and detailed signs. A crash course in medieval architecture and styles was a refresher course from those long ago art history classes. And the intricate religious offerings are just beautiful. The delicate carved state of this gothic crossier is amazing, on par with the Chinese jade & ivory collection in the British Museum. Gothic art often depicted the natural world, mixing leaves & vines with religious symbols & icons. Apparently staves like this were like the staff of Aaron (Old Testament, brother to Moses) whose staff bought forth buds and bloomed blossoms.
Of course, who can go past the fashion exhibit in the V&A? Not as wonderful as I had hoped, but it was still great to see all that couture. Disappointment came, along with the giggles, when I found this particular outfit. My Granny wore a very similar get up!
It was the older style fashions that I was mostly interested in, the ones with the tiny waistlines and used of metres of fabric. To shuffle about in one of these gowns is a fluffy dream cloud castle, but worthy of it, don’t you think?