Monday, 27 August 2012

Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations at the NYC Met

Whilst in New York City I spent a morning at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - the largest museum of art in the USA, and one of the biggest in the world. Its permanent collection is made up of over 2 million pieces, ranging from ancient Roman sculptures to Art Nouveau era stained glass windows. The museum has a section dedicated clothing from across all eras: The Costume Institute. Although they do not have a permanent display, specialist exhibitions are held here year-round.

Last time I was at the Met, it was for the incredible Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition. (You can see my sketches from that visit here) This time, The Costume Institute were holding an exhibition on fashion designers Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, comparing and contrasting their work, design processes and design values. Entitled 'Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations', this display aimed to find the similarities between designers from such different eras, to provide the viewer with an insight into an evolving fashion design process.

It was interesting to see garments designed by each designer, there were a few pieces in particular that stood out to me: a gold tassled and black felt hat by Schiaparelli I found really unique and refreshingly playful. Prada's jackets from 2002 echoed the peplum shape that is so in fashion this year - a reminder that fashion is often recycled!

"Dress designing...
is to me not a profession but an art" 
- Elsa Schiaparelli

I was slightly disappointed by this exhibition though. It was a little short, and I felt that the whole idea of Schiaparelli and Prada's work being similar (or not?) was forced and confusing. As a result, the displays lacked continuity and came across as haphazard in some places.

This exhibition did have something to offer to a visitor who, like me, didn't know much about the designers, or what work they had done. However, it wasn't as good as Alexander McQueen last year. But then, I'm not sure if anything could top that!

Visit the Met Museum website for more information about current exhibitions and displays.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Broadway in NYC

How could I go to New York City and not go to Times Square and Broadway?! It's a great place for shopping as well as seeing musicals, and as the 'crossroads of the city' it is no wonder it was packed with people on every sidewalk!

I saw Sister Act there last year, but sadly I didn't get a chance to see a musical this year (however my cousin's off-broadway production with 'Broadway for All' was great - learn more about that project here!). There are so many productions on in this world famous theatre district - here are the ones I most want to see!

1. Wicked!

Definitely number one on my wishlist! I've become hooked on the soundtrack and can't stop singing 'Popular' in my head where ever I go. This famous musical tells the story of the two Witches of Oz, how one came to be called 'good' and the other 'wicked'. I've never been a huge fan of the Wizard of Oz story, but this award-winning musical is a must see for me!

2. Porgy and Bess

This opera by Gershwin has been re-arranged to include more dialogue, bigger dance moves and a shorter running time - modernising this once very popular production to attract a new audience. Critics have described 'Porgy and Bess' as "emotionally engaging" and Audra McDonald's performance as "fantastic" - although they warned this production was not for fans of the original opera version!

3. Annie

This was the one of the first musicals I saw - I got the DVD for Christmas when I was about 9 and watched it over and over again! The new Broadway production opens this October. Costume designer Susan Hilferty previously worked on 'Wicked' and 'Spring Awakening' on Broadway.

4. Mary Poppins

This cheerful story about the adventures of British nanny Mary Poppins, based on the books and 1964 film has been running since 2006, after a very successful production in London's West End. Nominated for Best Musical.

5. The Lion King

Yes, I've already seen it in London, and I know the songs off by heart, but you can never see The Lion King too many times. This fantastic show will inspire audiences of all ages - I highly recommend!

So have you seen any of these productions? Please tell me what you thought of them, or if there are any not on my list that you would recommend! 

Post in the comments below...

Friday, 24 August 2012

I'm back! I'm back! I'm back!

Well, as the title of this post makes quite obvious, I'm back! I had a wonderful time on holiday in America, but I'm very happy to be back to blogging :)

During the following weeks I'll be posting about what I got up to this summer. I visited the Metropolitan Museum in NYC, the Garment District and saw many other wonderful and inspiring things.

But for now, I need to sleep off this jet lag!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Goodbye London, Hello New York!

I'm off to New York - see you all in a few weeks! I'll have plenty to post about when I'm back, so follow us on Bloglovin' or like our Facebook page to get updates :)

Friday, 3 August 2012

Now Available at Love 13!

Showtime Stitches products are now available to buy at Love 13, a beautiful shop in London's Bush Hill Park, selling handmade crafty items by local makers.

Here's what you can find of ours there...

Embroidered Tightrope Walker Badges

Large and Small Circus Purses

The display at Love 13 - Photo from Love 13 Facebook Page
More of our products are available at our online shop - now offering free delivery! Check it out here!

Find Love 13 at Queen Annes Place, Bush Hill Park, Enfield, London - here's their Facebook page and website.