A couple of weeks ago I went to the V&A's Bright Young Things Late Night. It was fab - we checked out the Cecil Beaton exhibition (quite small but delightful, nostalgic, Queenie only not Vogue, wonderful Technicolour coronation video), bopped to the jazz band in the main hall, swayed to the pianists in the cafe, admired everyone in their headbands, regretted the queue for the Beaton-esque portrait sessions and generally gallivanted around the museum after dark. Obviously I never got round to blogging about it because I'm useless...
The V&A is such a strange and magnificent place though, I forget sometimes. The internal geography is baffling and possibly magical. I don't think it obeys the laws of physics. How can there be a plaster cast of a cathedral in there? It is such a testament to our weird hoarding habits. So very many things. And I LOVE things. They're the best. Their jewellery collection is beyond brilliant. You can never go too many times. It is so sparkly. I hate being a stereotype but I can't help myself around beautiful jewellery - it is irresitible.
Plique-a-jour enamel orchid - this is backless enamel, it imitates stained glass, and is held together by gold wire. It is one of the most perfect things I've ever seen.
There are just so many things I could wear from the jewellery collection. Almost all of it. Jewellery from 3000 B.C. to the present. I like the way that if you get yourself in the right position you can see yourself reflected under the jewellery. I look goooood in the Londonderry tiara.
This robe is made from golden spider silk. Spiders! Tens of thousands of them spinning away, their silk being spun into threads and woven into this. I love the spiders embroidered on to it and the way the gold seems to glow from within.
Hey there Alexander McQueen and Giles Deacon dresses. Plato's Atlantis and crystal Pacmen.
Rood screen - casual.
I've been to the V&A many times over the years but there are so many corners and rooms and displays that I've never seen before. I think it unfolds before you like... something in a children's book (which one?). The Late Night was a salient reminder that there is so still much more to see there. I'm already looking forward to the next event, the Night of Norouz to celebrate the Spring Equinox, and more exploring.
Have you been to the V&A? Which is your favourite room/collection? Are there any other museums that so perfectly mix art and history and miscellany?