Art: Christian Dior – Designer of Dreams

Dior

Dior. For many women, the four-letter word exudes iconic, feminine, aspirational – the list can go on. It is easy to understand when the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (“V&A”) announced their upcoming Christian Dior – Designer of Dreams exhibition there was much furore; so much so that the exhibition had to be extended to 1 September 2019, and even then, the tickets are all sold out

So far, there has been a mixed reception with some critics noting “style over substance” highlighting the display failed to set the scene and did not match the history of Dior with the social economic climate of the times. Others, have showered it with praise and described it as a wonderful show of Monsieur Dior’s fairytale; some even go as far to describe it as “the greatest fashion show the V&A has ever staged”.

Given the difficulty in obtaining the tickets to the exhibition, expectations were high. Located in the newly built and cavernous Sainsbury’s Gallery, with structural curves to die for. The new space was a welcomed changed to previous fashion exhibitions, such as Balencigia and Fashioned from Nature, where they were located in a dark corner of the museum.

The start of the exhibition centres around the iconic New Look with the Bar Suit. A white boxy suit jacket with an impossibly cinched (pretty sure it was the width of my one thigh!) and the voluminous skirts, which was a dramatic departure from the fabric rationing during the war period. The exhibition vaguely moves from the history of Dior fashion house starting with 1946 at Avenue Montaigne and ending with the final runway piece of 2019 by the inspirational Maria Grazia Chiuri. Personally, she is my favourite creative director in the history Dior, with her debut giving tribute to the iconic Dior “New Look”. Noting sadly that my body shape would ever fit into the ultra nipped waists of the look, one can still dream of the whimsical skirts of tulle.

As you walk through the exhibition navigating between dimly lit rooms to the beautifully decorated, such as the “flower” room by the design studio Wanda Barcelona and the finale Ball Room, one can’t help to be mesmerised. However, it was difficult to follow the theme throughout as each room seemed independent and did not flow onto the next. Each room was aesthetically pleasing and each garment beautifully displayed but it failed to share much detail on the pieces. The overall experience felt like an extravagant fashion show with mannequins, where guests had to walk around and fight for a closer view. Ultimately, the exhibition failed to tell a story.

Despite this, undoubtedly, there were elements of the show which made the visit worthwhile. It was an opportunity to see these beautiful garments up close and admire the details, where one would not have had a chance otherwise. The innovative styles, the intricate stitching and the structure of garments honour not only the designers but the ateliers who turned sketches to exquisite and alluring pieces of art. For those who have tickets to the exhibition, you have plenty to look forward to and it is worth the wait!

The Pineapple Chicken gives the exhibition a 4 out of 5 pineapples. Have any of you been yet? What were your favourite pieces? As always, I would love to hear from you!

With Sweet & Sour Love,

Pineapple Chicken x

P.S The Little Big Movement is now back online! Check him out here!

Travel: Paris

Hey everyone,

How is it a going? I am doing something new today! Currently, I am blogging on my phone, my poor attempt at being mobile and agile. This is also to prove to myself that I have no excuse not to update my little blog!

Let’s see how this works out, happy for anyone to put on a bet on how many spelling and grammar mistakes I make 🙂

I had not been back to Paris since I was probably 12 years old. However, since the summer of 2017, I have returned 3 times in the space of a couple of months. I anticipate I will be visiting even more this year as one of my best friends has moved there to work but also I think I have genuinely fallen in love with the city. In all honesty, I recall not enjoying my experience when I was younger; apart from Disneyland Paris, of course. As a result, it has never made it back into the ‘Places I want to go list’. However, this has all changed. Maybe I have grown older and have the freedom to do what I want (likely) or I have become more sophisticated (very unlikely).

This time round I spent about 2.5 days in Paris and made it to a culture and shopping trip! Here are some top tips and places to visit:

  • The Louvre – you must be thinking, dude… Like everyone puts this on the list. Lame. However, I would also be stupid to not put it on here. It was amazing! I had not been back in roughly 15 years, so for me it was a brilliant experience. There was a massive queue to enter without prepaid tickets. However, it did move relatively quickly. Really worth the wait. Or you can be smart and just prebooked a ticket but for a premium if €2.50 (personally, worth it, just was disorganised). They currently have a massive exhibition on Delacroix, where infamous French Revolution painting is displayed. This is free of charge (after you pay admission), though you have to select it as an option. It is showing until July 23, so hurry!! Other recommendations include the relatively new Islamic Art space, Napoleon living quarters and the Apollo Gallery where the Crown jewels are held. Is it just me, but when diamonds are that big… They just look fake to me? So I wasn’t that impressed but the interior of the gallery is definitely not to be missed. Of course, I said hi to Mona but you have to battle against a sea of tourists to even catch a glimpse of her. I recommend just having a quick look and move on to the rest of the museum. I can go on and on, but as you can tell, it is a definite 5 out of 5 pineapples!
Apollo Gallery
  • Musee D’Orsay – I have never been before and I think it is wirth visiting if you are particularly interested in more modern art and the Impressionists movement. It is located in an old train station and the architecture alone is worth the visit. Definitely worth visiting the Van Gough gallery where his self portrait is located. Again just look for the sea of tourists. My favourite was on the top floor where through the clock face you can see the Sacre Cour across the river. It is a picture perfect moment that is worth the hard climb up the stairs… Or take the lift haha. I give the museum 4 out of 5 pineapples, just because I prefer the Louvre more and the layout is a bit odd.
Overlooking the platform
  • Shopping at La Marais is a must for all those fashionable and trendy and have a hefty wallet. I struggled because I couldn’t find things that were really within my price range but worth just wandering the little streets. You never know what treasure you might find. For that reason I give the area 3.5 pineapples.
  • Pink Mamma is probably one of the most hipster and beautiful restaurants in Paris. It had a cult like following on Instagram and there was a massive queye waiting for it to open at 6.45pm. We arrive at 6pm and there was a queue of 30 people in front of us (weekend). We were so chuffed when we got seated in their beautiful and infamous greenhouse on the roof! The restaurant specialises in beef, however, I don’t eat red meat so it is a shame I couldn’t give a review. Though I did note most people went for their pizza and pasta. I also recommend their homemade lemonade which includes yuzu and pineapples! It was a lovely dining experience and the service was very friendly. However, I was not blown away by the food. Go for great pictures but not great food. Overall, 3 out of 5 pineapples.
A portal to another world

That is all I have for this post but I am sure I will be back to Paris soon, so please do give me recommendations. Would love to try out new things!!

With Sweet & Sour Love,

Pineapple Chicken

Culture: Fashioned from Nature

Hey hey everyone!

How’s it going? I am finally back from Cancun, Mexico; but have been caught in a whirlwind of emails and work so I have not had the head space to update the blog. Finally got some free time this evening and I wanted to share with you my latest culture trip in dear old London town. Don’t worry, I will give an update on my Mexico in due course! So much to share with you.

Last weekend I visited the V&A for their latest fashion exhibition – Fashioned from Nature. Tickets are £12 for adults but half price with the Art Pass and will be available until 29th January 2019 so you have plenty of time to check it out!

As many of you are aware there is a strong, although not always loving, relationship between the mother nature and fashion. From the use of fur in the industry, all the way to the use of water for denim.The exhibition explores the relationship between fashion and nature from the 1600s to the present day. Personally, I think mother nature has suffered greatly in the hands of fashion, but there have been real positive changes to the industry,

The last time, I visited the V&A it was also check out their previous fashion exhibition Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion which was really splendid. However, when coming to the same space again, I felt a bit of a déjà vu. I believe that due to the space, the team is limited in how they can change the structure of the room, so I felt like I was at the same exhibition but they just swapped the dresses, which was slightly disappointing.

The bottom floor is dedicated to the history of fashion starting from the 1600. It covers a vast stretch of time and a lot of different subjects. It took me about an hour just to walk through that small space and read everything. It covered the use of animals, from whalebone to fur to feathers; in addition to how the natural sciences inspired designers. Check out some of my pictures above, there is this beautifully embroidered waist coat with Capuchin monkeys. The dress with the beetle wings is very vivid, though a piece of jewelry was most memorable in the exhibition was a pair of earrings made from the heads of a iridescent honeybird. I think it is shocking to even those who are accustomed to the use of animals parts in their wardrobe.

Obviously, being the Pineapple Chicken blog, I got super excited when I read about pineapple fibre! Didn’t even realise that such a thing existed! I am very tempted to source some for myself and see if I can make some branded tees,  what do you think? (That is assuming I would come up with a logo!)

The second part of the exhibition is located upstairs and covers modern fashion and how the fashion industry is tackling their relationship with the environment. It showcases new and innovative ways to change the industry to a more sustainable model. There is research being conducted on how to minimise the use of water and chemicals for dyes as well as alternatives to leather and fur, which I have noted that “vegan” handbags are becoming more common, which is awesome.

The exhibition made me think about my role as an consumer and how I interact with the industry. I try not to follow fast fashion, partially because it is expensive and too much effort, but also because I think that there are significant negative externalities to it. For fashion to change so quickly and clothes produced in such mass quantities, I believe that there is either there is the exploitation of labour or environmental damage along the supply chain. Do not get me wrong, I am not perfect, I love a good bargain and I buy high street goods and I do not ask myself – where does this come from, what is the supply chain, how is it made? However, the exhibition really made me stop and think.

  • What do you think will happen in the future?
  • How do we become more sustainable and protect our planet for future generations and species?
  • What can I do to help? Is there hope?

I was really not expecting the exhibition to leave me with so many questions.  I have tried embarking on my “minimalism” journey for a couple of months now, before going to this exhibition, but I think I should revisit this journey and think twice before I pick up another pair of jeans or t-shirt.

I think it did a great job in engaging with an audience so if you are into fashion, I think it is worthwhile going, however, I note that it is not for everyone. Thus, I give it 3.5 pineapples. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on any of the above, or if you have already been to the exhibition, let me know what you think!

With Sweet & Sour Love,

Pineapple Chicken x