If you follow me on Instagram [@ashleyagedah] - don't worry, I don't regularly upload "selfies" you would know that last month I went to the Valentino exhibition at Somerset House! The exhibition has now ended unfortunately, I'm so sorry that I didn't blog about this sooner! I visited the exhibition on the last day and I know this is an irrelevant post but when I look at my blog in a few years, I'd like to look back on posts like these and smile in a nostalgic way that I documented the event in some way or form.
I arrived at Somerset at around 11.a.m. two hours after the exhibition opened because I understood from the website that if people wishing to see the exhibition arrived too late, then the sessions could be sold out- they organised the exhibition so that only a certain number of people at a time could visit the exhibition. I actually preferred the fact that they had organised the exhibition in this way, because there were fewer people staring at one piece for thirty minutes and causing less congestion. Now, I don't like to begrudge people that really appreciate pieces, because I myself can probably spend ten minutes awestruck by a specific piece, but I stand in one spot for maybe five minutes of that time BUT THEN I'LL MOVE ALONG TO ANOTHER SPOT and stare it from a different position so that other people can have the chance to look at it from that angle. Personally, I think that exhibitions should have a plaque with "rules of common courtesy in exhibitions"...
Moving on, here's my review of the exhibition:
At first, you were met with a large dimly lit room with various holy relics from the Valentino archives ranging from show invitations to friends of the designer, letters from Karl, Donatella, Anna, Glenda and an array of other designers and editors, and sketches. In the back of the room there was a large flower on the wall that changed every few seconds to reveal a different print- very Valentino. After milling around the room for a while you then had to queue for maybe five minutes at the most before you were allowed to enter the runway and view the couture pieces. I liked how people were able to walk down the centre and the gowns were on either side of the runway, but the way in which they'd numbered the gowns was slightly irritating because you would have to look at the gowns on the right and you'd have reached halfway down the aisle but then would have to go back to the beginning and look at all the gowns on the left hand side if you wanted to follow the system properly and refer to the guidebook. The gowns on display were beautiful for the most part, but even the ones that probably weren't meant to actually be worn had the most exquisite details. The detailing on each gown was probably what struck me the most and what I loved about the exhibition. What was also incredibly useful was the companion that listed the techniques used on each of the gowns, which meant that I really learnt a lot from the exhibition and when I need Valentino to create a work of art for me to wear on a red carpet one day, we will be able to work together create a work of art- GOALS! I thought that after you finished walking down the runway and looked at the gowns, that it was the end of the exhibition, but instead there was more! Apologies in advance for the overly poetic language I am about to use to describe what I saw next, it is the best way for me to express my feelings, being a future A-Level English Literature students and all. As I walked down the stairs, I was met with the aerial view of a lace masterpiece that was a veil and almost started crying when I saw "The Wedding Dress". I've never seen a gown in real life that has looked more beautiful and had so much detail on it. There was also the opportunity to watch a short film on Valentino and previous exhibitions!
The thing that I appreciated the most about the exhibition, was the craftsmanship and hours it takes to create couture gowns, and different techniques they use. It also slightly irritated at how so many celebrities that claim to love fashion so much [with the available funds] don't advantage of these couture gowns and always wear such safe options on the red carpet. Now I really understand why the general public are so infatuated with events such as the MET Gala, because we actually get to see some real fashion on the red carpet.
The only thing that really disappointed me about the exhibition, was the lack of red gowns! When I first saw the poster advertising the exhibition, the words that instantly popped into my head were "RED" and "RUFFLES" and I only saw one red dress... [I think I only saw one, but only two or three at the most!]
Enjoy the pictures I secretly took on my iPhone!