I love London. Ever since I first visited my Brother there in my early teens (a trip that involved my younger sister and I travelling ALONE! On a COACH! Which was simply THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER! Well, not quite as amazing as the platform trainers I had purchased earlier that week. Yes, platform trainers. Remember them?) I have found something about a trip to The Big Smoke incredibly exciting. Even though I have since spent the odd stint actually living and working in London, and was entirely miserable for the duration of at least one of those odd stints, I still can’t help but get butterflies in my tummy as I descend the escalator down to the tube and feel that warm air rush up from the tunnel. It doesn’t seem to matter that nothing notable ever actually happened to me during any of my stays there, or that I’m painfully aware that the warm rush of air is full of pollution, filth and possibly millions of flakes of other people’s skin, I always feel like something magical might happen any moment. It never does, but still, every time I take a trip there I find myself making it into an ‘occasion’ even if it’s nothing more than a work meeting or training course!
On Sunday I had such a trip planned and this time had good reason to be excited (in my book anyway – I’m sure more than one of you will find the rest of this post dull as dishwater. Sorry!) Mum and I headed down to the to check out an exhibition at one of our favourite museums, The V&A, not just any exhibition may I add, but a wedding dress exhibition! Wedding dresses through the ages to be exact, from 1774 – 2014, with some bona-fide designer and celebrity frocks thrown in to boot. Mum and I haven’t yet done any wedding dress shopping (seems a bit daft to go looking at frocks when you don’t have a date yet!) so we decided to go all out and make a day of it, and I dressed in suitably inappropriate footwear (London and wedding dresses requires heels, no?). Something about the day also said ‘Prosecco’ to us both, so we started proceedings with a rather extravagant brunch!
The exhibition itself didn’t disappoint, showcasing dresses and wedding traditions through the ages. Some of the more famous frocks included Dita Von Teese’s huge purple taffeta Vivienne Westwood gown, worn when she married Marilyn Manson (and, of course, her custom made Louboutins, in the exact shade I want and can’t find for my own wedding shoes!) and Gwen Steffani’s quirky pink dip dyed Dior dress, but the star of the show had to be Kate Moss’s vintage style frock (again by John Galliano) which I’ll admit I didn’t think was all that special when I saw the press pictures of her wedding, but in real life it is absolutely stunning – all 250,000 hand-sewn bronze sequins of it! We also got to see some contemporary dresses by bridal designers du jour, reminding me of what I would love to, but sadly probably never will, wear on my own big day (thanks a lot Alice Temperley and Jenny Packham!).
The V&A is one of those museums you could lose a week in, and after the exhibition we decided to check out the Jewellery rooms (because, how better to follow up an afternoon of gorgeous frocks than gazing at diamonds the size of your fist, I ask you??). By this stage I’d swapped my heels for flats (massive perk of getting older – you can carry a big handbag!) and we stumbled upon the Theatre and Production section, where we were delighted to find a mock up of Kylie Minogue’s dressing room from her Showgirl tour, and Mum was even more delighted to see that even her slippers were Manolo Blahnik (man, that girl owns a lot of Blahnik’s!). Somehow the day slipped by in a blur and it was time to head home, though we couldn’t resist popping over the road to the Natural History Museum to say goodbye to Dippy, their famous Diplodocus skeleton, who is sadly soon to be replaced with a Blue Whale. Both Mum and I remember going to see him when we were small, and we felt we couldn’t pass by without popping in to see him for the last time. It actually felt kind of sad, which is utterly ridiculous considering I haven’t paid him a moments thought until I saw it on the news! Sentimental old saps.
All in all we had a fantastic day. Sometimes when life is getting on top of you all you need is some sunshine, a change of scenery and a generous sprinkling of diamonds! It also geared me up to crack on with wedding planning – watch this space!