And here’s hoping all of you are enjoying a great Easter weekend. Personally, I need the time for a bit of a rest as we went up to London on Wednesday. Wow! Did we make up for not visiting London for six months?! Oh, we did. We saw two exhibitions and had a walk round Fortnum & Mason, and Burlington Arcade and New Bond Street. I’m doing more street photography and will share some of the pics I took, including some simply amazing hats at astonishing prices – or maybe I’m naive and that’s what they’re worth? Not sure, about that one, tbh.
The two exhibitions, both at the Royal Academy, were totally different and yet not entirely. The first, ‘America After the Fall. Painting in the 1930s’ showed a nation responding to economic devastation and change, with truly great paintings including that iconic one of the farmer standing next to a woman – American Gothic by Grant Wood. I loved that painting, and the whole exhibition. The second exhibition, ‘Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932’ was an outstanding once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of great painting, with artists depicting a momentous period and time in history, sometimes with devastating consequences for them. We had a guided tour and the history and context gave added insight into the courage of these brave artists. But despite the different histories and circumstances of these two countries both exhibitions gave you a greater insight into the lives of ordinary men and women living through hard times.
The Royal Academy is, like many buildings in London, a delightful place to be.
Squinting into the watery sun (actually, it was a bit cold) with my old but very comfortable boots. And that was essential (the comfort) as I did over 11,000 steps that day. I was wearing that Missoni-like skirt again, topped with my very old faux leather jacket and a pink beret and scarf – all charity shop pieces.
That’s the view of the RA forecourt facing the other way.
As you know I like doors.
After seeing the first exhibition (America after the Fall) we went for a walk and found ourselves in Fortnum & Mason’s, which is a shop for a certain kind of clientele. It has food and teas aplenty, rather like Harrod’s. But upstairs they had an area full of hats. What about some of these, then?
Yes, that is a hat!
And this was a fragile beauty.
All totally outside my budget! Note the price tag below.
Yes, that is £795.00! Would you pay that amount for a hat? I suppose you would if you could. Why not go to Fortnum & Mason’s next time you’re in London and see for yourself? (And I’ve been told that the packets of tea on sale there are excellent!) But I had to stop the pic-taking as a beautifully dressed, frock-coated young man came up to me and asked if I wanted to make an appointment with one of these hat-makers. I smiled nicely, made my apologies and retreated!
We walked up Burlington Arcade where, I have to say, the shops blur into one homogenous mass of trinkets, things and stuff for rich people. And as you know, I’m getting rid of my stuff.
However, once out of the Arcade and in New Bond Street my slight ennui changed. Reader, I was seduced by some divine frocks. And here’s one outfit I totally want.
This is Alexander McQueen. With no price. And if you have to ask, you can’t afford it, which would definitely be the case here. But while I cannot buy I will try and find items that are similar and wear those. Because, why wouldn’t you?
The thing with looking at shops with dresses like that, is that it trains the eye. Just as looking at exhibitions trains the eye for what is good and not-so-good art, likewise, you see what can be worn and you adapt it. It was lightbulb moment when I saw that McQueen outfit. Yesssss! That’s the way I want to look, those are the clothes I want: a biker jacket; studded boots and a diaphanous skirt or dress. When I go up to see the Balenciaga exhibition at the V&A (starts end of May) I’ll wear something like that. The black studded boots that I seek out won’t have heels and will probably come from Doc Martens or Debenhams rather than McQueen, but even so you can aspire, you can aim for the stars, you can attempt the look.
And I’m saying this and writing this for the over, or near to 70-year-old woman. Don’t ever look at those fashion articles with items of clothing for the 40, 50, 60 and 70+ woman. Because you can bet that those 70+ clothes will be grandma type clothes. NO! Please, young journalist, try and see us over 60s, 70s and 80s as individuals with many different tastes, shapes and sizes. And excuse me, some of us prefer the biker/goth look rather than the nana look!
The walk took us back to the RA and the second exhibition (Revolution: Russian art) which was simply outstanding and, especially so with the guided tour. Afterwards and on our way to the tea-room (gosh, was I in need of refreshment) I spotted this woman, and I just want to apologise for the awful photo I took, which I’ve made small as it doesn’t do justice to her stunning co-ordinated outfit of a lovely tweedy, orange and grey plaid skirt and matching orange top. She had such style and I told her so.
And then we had tea which included a totally essential simnel cake with a strong cup of English Breakfast tea – yum!
I think my final message to you all is that window-shopping is not just a fanciful waste of time.
Depending on how you look at it, it can educate, it can inspire, it can be fun!
Have a lovely weekend.
Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper
P.S Sharing this Friday with:
Nicole of High Latitude Style and her weekly Top of the World style linkup party
Judith Boyd of Stylecrone and her #hat attack session (for my pink beret)
Another new one:
Bernadette at Haddon Musings and her Senior Salon 2017
And Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb and her Saturday/weekend linkup 🙂