Alexander McQueen; Savage Beauty at the V&A

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I recently had the pleasure of seeing the V&A’s retrospective of Alexander McQueen’s work, and I must say that it was one of the best and most interesting fashion exhibitions I have seen in my life.

Every piece was incredibly exciting; their delight lay not in their wearability but as their existence as pure art form. Each room had a different theme which conveyed the complexity and depth of McQueen’s imagination and the wide breadth of sources by which he was inspired. This ranged from the Scottish highlands to the Victorian Gothic, and whilst all his work seemed connected they were also varied enough to make the whole exhibition fascinating.

My favourite piWidows of Cullodenece was the a particularly beautiful lace and tartan dress, hitched
up to show the net underneath, which I thought was particularly gorgeous.

Second to this was the white dress which was sprayed with paint because I thought it was so intriguing, and even the previous dress had a great structure.

The way it was exhibited by the V&A was generally very good; each room was decorated so it fitted with the clothes; one room’s walls were made of bones to fit with the theme of primitiveness. The music was slightly eerie, and combined with the beginning film of McQueen’s face fading to a skeleton, the exhibition reminded the viewers of the darkness and isolation that McQueen felt which inspired the clothes. However, other elements of the way that it was displayed were much less satisfying; the pieces were extremely complex and intriguing from all angles, so rotating mannequins would have allowed you to see the entirety of the pieces, but they were only utilised about twice in the exhibition. Furthermore, there was one particularly full room, which whilst interesting, meant that some really intriguing pieces could not be fully appreciated because they were on very high shelves.

An absolute must see!

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The Best of 2014

art, Film, music, Theatre

As 2014 comes to an end, I’ve decided to look over what were, in my opinion, the best movies, albums, songs, theatre productions and art exhibitions of 2014.

Best Movie: PaddingtonAlthough I haven’t been able to see many of the films I wanted to this year, I was disappointed with much of what I did see. Paddington, which I saw very recently, was a delight, and was absolutely hilarious. Whilst I did watch critically acclaimed films, such as Gone Girl, none was as memorable as this touching and heart warming movie.

Best Album: The Lonely Hour, Sam Smith

After releasing a few singles, such as “Money On My Mind” and featuring on Disclosure’s “Latch”, Sam Smith released this album, which lead to the singles “Stay With Me” and “I’m Not the Only One” being blasted out of radio stations for most of summer and autumn. With his beautiful voice and the heartfelt lyrics, it’s not hard to see why.

Best Songs: “I’m Not the Only One”, Sam Smith

As well as being my favourite album of the year, I loved Sam Smith’s song “I’m Not the Only One” enough for it to be one of my top two songs of the year.

Blank Space, Taylor Swift

In a departure from her country roots, Taylor Swift’s album was firmly pop, and whilst  I was originally sceptical, “Blank Space” was an undeniable delight. Turning even those most opposed to her music into fans, and working as a biting response to the media’s portrayal of her, it was a catchy masterpiece. Read my full review of her album here: https://nellymair.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/taylor-swift-1989-album-review/

Best Theatre Show: Made in Dagenham

I’ve been lucky enough to go the theatre quite a lot this year, and despite seeing revered musicals such as “Les Miserables”, “Miss Saigon” and “Once”, my favourite was the upbeat “Made in Dagenham.” Funny, yet uplifting, and with catchy and humorous songs, it was a thoroughly entertaining night out. Read my full review here: https://nellymair.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/made-in-dagenham/

Best Art Show: Battersea Affordable Art Fair

I generally prefer group shows to those with single artists, and whilst The Royal Academy Academy Summer Exhibition lacked many stand out works this year (apart from that by Yinka Shonibare) and the Frieze Art Fair was slightly too wacky for me, the Battersea Affordable Art Fair got the balance just right. With a combination of intriguing modern art and more classic work, I found it a fascinating show.

Frieze Art Fair

art

I usually adore contemporary art, and so visited the Frieze Art Fair on the 18th October. There were some very interesting pieces, which might not be found at a more traditional exhibition – there were a lot of more abstract pieces; an art form I find very intriguing, as well as 3 dimensional installments, and paintings and photographs which were unique because of the subject. These are some photos of artworks I particularly liked which demonstrate the huge variety of work in the fair.

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Alex Prager, Untitled (Part 1)

frieze

Tomas Saraceno, NGC 5892

john baldessari koen van der broek

John Baldessari & Koen Van Den Broek – This is an Example of that; Photo Shoot (Desert with Car)

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David Renggli – I Love You (Blue Alorage)

However, despite the truly inspiring and innovative work, there were many pieces which were bizarre rather than exciting, and that was the issue I had with the fair. It was a huge event, and yet there were only a few pieces that really intrigued me.

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The more strange items included a collection of spidermanmemes – and although I found them very funny, I thought this perhaps belonged on a tumblr blog rather than an art exhibition.

There was also a room where the work was just variations of smiley faces, and performance art which purely consisted of people leaping about before twitching on the floor – even the performers themselves could not contain their laughter.

The Frieze Art Fair was definitely an entertaining gallery visit, and I think it was worthwhile, but it was disappointment in the lack of consistency in regards to the quality of work.