London Calling: 10 days in the most visited city in the world!

Hi everyone! It’s been a long time now, about three weeks I haven’t posted a proper article – although I’ve been active on Instagram mostly. Sometimes you don’t feel like it, sometimes you don’t even have time. Between revising, final exams, London, other things to plan, here I am again! I went to London once before, but only for a couple days to see the Horst exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum so it didn’t give me a lot of time to discover the city. Nevertheless this time, I know LND just – or almost – like Paris. Both cities have nothing to do with each other but are only two hours and a half left, by Eurostar. One thing that directly stroke me. Saint Pancras with its gorgeous Renaissance hotel. Combined together, the whole reddish building helps in being in a new world.

One of the first thing I did was to go to some museums such as the British Museum, then the Tate where I could see the real Composition in Red, Blue and Yellow by Piet Mondrian, 1930. We’ve been talking about it so many times in class that it wasn’t even possible to miss it. This painting has been reinterpreted by Yves Saint Laurent through his famous Mondrian dress with the same pattern. The power of art, the power to inspire, the power to be the pioneer but also to look for the future.

One day I got lost. Not really, just that my class left the place we were at without me and another classmate. But. The good thing is, we walked around and found out completely randomly the Opera Gallery London! (see my article on the Opera Gallery Paris here) It has nothing to do with the Parisian one. Smaller, kind of a typical gallery, no true identity really.
This same day, I visited the one and only Victoria Beckham boutique in Mayfair, Dovent Street. Wow. For an experience, it is an experience. Through my studies, each time I go to a luxury shop, there is always an analyzing thought about visual merchandising or if it is consistent. Well. Bloody hell! I am so impressed. The DNA is so well defined by Farshid Moussaka Architecture. Not only we can see v-shapes everywhere, but this retail palace probably stick perfectly to her world. You can not see what is in the inside from the outside unless you enter, then you are completely immersed in a v-world: v-shaped wooden bench, v-shaped ceiling design, v-shaped garment hanger holder, v-shaped stairs, … You can also notice a private fitting room downstairs with a piece of art from Victoria’s collection. (a special thanks to Connor for his good mood and kindness!)

© Victoria Beckham

 

Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty

I obviously couldn’t miss the ultimate exhibition – Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty, at the Victoria & Albert Museum. London is where I was brought up. It’s where my heart is and where I get my inspiration. Although I couldn’t take pictures, I will try my best to convey the atmosphere. How not to say that it was one of the best exhibition ever. The level is very high and I can’t even imagine the work behind it! Several collections were presented, knowing his style, we recognized it through its provocative, uncommon, surprising, chocking, impulsive, unconstrained designs. You got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the traditionThis is his way of promoting freedom of thoughts and expression, and championing the authority of the imagination. I want to be the purveyor of a certain silhouette or a way of cutting, so that when I’m dead and gone people will know that the 21st century was started by Alexander McQueen. Going from rooms to rooms, each atmosphere, each feeling is different. Sometimes dark, sometimes colorful. Sometimes stressing, sometimes passionate. People will find my things sometimes aggressive. But I don’t see it as aggressive. I see it as romantic, dealing with a dark side of my personality.I  find beauty in the grotesque, like most artists. I have to force people to look at things. From the lights to the sounds, from the displays to the designs. One of them was incredible. Four entire walls sectioned in several shapes of huts, filled with either garments, accessories or simply videos of his runway shows and right in the middle, one of the robot painted dress. I like the accessories for its sadomasochistic aspect. It was a real immersion in his head somehow. Plato’s Atlantis, Highland Rape, some models walking in water, others just like zombies, or with a butterfly cage on the head, … a mix of everything, a fog of the craziest things you can ever imagine, a marriage of dreams and nightmares perhaps. I have always loved the mechanics of nature and to a greater or lesser extend my world is always informed by that. Then another beautiful and impressive thing was the hologram of a woman incarnating grace and femininity rotating, moving, with her dress floating. It was a poetic moment.

There is no way back for me now. I’m going to take you on journeys you’ve never dreamed were possible. Alexander McQueen

 

© Alexander McQueen – Victoria & Albert Museum

 

What is luxury? 

This other exhibition at the V&A attracted professionals from all over the world because it raises a real question. But you will find out what in an upcoming post entirely dedicated to it! Stay tuned!

Patek Philippe

Here are two mood boards of the Patek Philippe Watch Art Grand exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. It didn’t last very long, only a week and a half – from May 27th to June 7th, but hopefully I was there during this time. 400 exceptional timepieces from more than 21 themed-areas. It was surely a wonderful exhibition to discover the universe of this quite unique watchmaking brand and to celebrate its masterpiece Grandmaster Chime’s 175th anniversary (pictured in the last rank). It is the most complicated Patek Philippe wristwatch with 20 complications, 1 366 movement components, double-face reversible case wristwatch, 214 case components, total of 6 patented inventions, 7 years of development, 2 years of production.

How can we sum up London?  Cupcakes, tea, cookies, the Queen. Colors. This one thing that is so rare in Paris. A lot of people have their hair dyed. Lots of them wear colorful clothes. Something that is disappearing nowadays. Moreover they are more open and sociable than Parisians. There is one thing that you should know: understanding other’s cultures helps in being comprehensive and more openminded, indeed in English speaking countries people are more likable to talk to you which is not the case in countries like France where we will find it weird. To me, it is really important to break this barrier because it leads you to the next level. You grow up faster in a way. Something else I’d like to point out is that it might sound awkward but a clean place is like a relief for me, especially when it comes to public places such as the subway. It is not even comparable to Paris.
Let’s not forget the Fish & Chips! It is a must try, everyone should try it at least once. This is no grande gastronomy or anything but it is inevitable. Beside this, English pies are so tasty. If you don’t know where to go: Poppies at Camden is a good address! For cookie lovers: Ben’s Cookies are delicious! Among Harrods, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Liberty, Fortnum & Mason, whatever, you will find one for you, for sure.

   Natural History Museum
   Back to childhood moment. Among dinosaurs, it was a throwback to a decade ago when I used to go to the NHM of Paris. When I was a child I looked at these skeletons of mammals or aquatic animals and felt so little sometimes. Your imagination leads you to another universe where you try to figure out how living beings bigger than trucks have ever lived on earth just like us. I found the amazement of the mini-me starring at whales, elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers, … We had a lot of fun playing around, taking selfies with dead animals… weird… but we did have a lot of fun as I said! Who cares? Sheer happiness is simply laughing and having fun, isn’t it? Enjoy what you already have and life’s little things! All you need is to smile more!
   Same thing happened for the Coral Reefs – secret cities of the sea exhibition. We basically played and took photos and videos for about 15 minutes. Fishes of all types, shapes, colors. Two Nemos as well. It just feels good to look at them and have a peaceful moment.
   London. See you soon again, miss you already! Cheers!

 

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