This week I’ve had a much needed break from work to spend some time on life’s pleasures. Reading the book I meant to start months ago, finally watching The Graduate (loved it! It must be an inspiration to Wes Anderson, right?!) and eating my favourite foods. As well as having my introvert moments, I also trotted down to London and caught up with some uni friends. I hate how we haven’t seen each other for so long but I love that we can slip into old routines without skipping a beat.
The point of my trip though was to at long last see the David Bowie exhibition at the V&A. If you’re any kind of Bowie fan (who isn’t?) then go and see it! The original costumes are just stunning to look at (I don’t think I’ll ever see a more stylish suit than the Thin White Duke’s) and the collection is comprehensive.
Waiting to be found amongst the garb are fun facts like this one: When Bowie wore the Aladdin Sane knitted catsuit, the knitting pattern was also published so fans could make their own version. I love that fan-club adoration and I hope there’s still a home made, slightly rough around the edges catsuit tucked away in an attic somewhere.
The show focuses on the performance and the inspirations behind Bowie’s personas, rather than any in depth analysis of his private life. No bad thing. There’s a great video of Bowie demonstrating a computer programme he made which breaks down and scrambles news headlines for inspiration. I knew he used the ‘cut-up’ method of writing lyrics but to make your own computer programme is brilliant, the video shows just how fantastically he takes a tiny snippet of information and creates a story from it.
It’s great fun to immerse yourself in Bowie, literally so in the final room which has wall to wall screens playing mash ups of old live shows. No photography is allowed in the exhibition, but I can show you my mementoes from the gift shop.
God, I love a gift shop. I normally just pick up a postcard or two from exhibitions, but I couldn’t resist a canvas tote bag for £5 and some stationary as well as the usual collection of postcards.
Top 5 Bowie moments (because I can):
1) Boys Keep Swinging – my favourite music video.
2) Team GB enter the Olympic stadium to Heroes – the perfect song to epitomise a summer of Great Britishness.
3) A collection of awkward interview moments
4) Thanks, but no thanks Queenie – Bowie refusing a knighthood.
5) See his pug nosed face.
After Bowie we stopped for lunch and then mooched around the rest of the V&A. Here’s the picture highlights: