• On the Radar Grace Kelly: Style Icon Exhibition
    14th April 2010

    Grace Kelly: Style Icon Exhibition

    AUTHOR Penny Brewer

    An exhibition of the stunning Grace Kelly at The V&A

    Grace Kelly, fashion icon, Hollywood actress, Princess and envy of many woman.

    A new exhibition, opening soon, at the V&A traces the evolution of this most exquisite and captivating lady whose life seemed a fairy tale. From Grace Kelly to Princess Grace of Monaco, the exhibition explores the eras she embodied with her stylish flair, feminine charm and great beauty.

    Supported by Van Cleef & Arpels, the exhibition will present over 50 of Grace Kelly's outfits; dresses from her films, the gown she wore to accept her Oscar award in 1955, the lace ensemble she wore to her civil marriage ceremony to Prince Rainier in 1956 and 35 haute couture gowns from the 1960s and 70s by her favourite couturiers Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Yves St Laurent. All displayed alongside film clips and posters, photographs and her Oscar statuette.

    The exhibition will also include accessories, most notably the original Hermès Kelly bag and exceptional Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery. A few days after her engagement to HSH Prince Rainier of Monaco he went in to the Van Cleef & Arpels boutique in New York to choose a “souvenir” for his fiancée, he was convinced by Louis Arpels that elegant, shimmering pearls would most suit Miss Kelly’s delicate beauty. This jewellery was witness to the most private
    moments in Princess Grace’s life and I can't wait to see it!

    Grace Kelly: Style Icon at the V&A begins on 17th April running until the end of September for more details and to book tickets click here

    To see the beautiful selection of jewellery from Van Cleef & Arpels click here

  • On the Radar Chicks on Guitar
    7th April 2010

    Chicks on Guitar

    AUTHOR Penny Brewer
    PHOTOGRAPHY Courtesy of The Barbican by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

    The Barbican dedicates space to create a music making aviary for Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

    The Barbicans Curve Gallery, a space of strange proportion and constant innovation has been transformed into an aviary and is currently home to a flock of zebra finches, furnished with electric guitars and other musical components.

    Curated by French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, a musician and composer, the space draws on rhythms from daily life, cleverly juxtaposing and combining the haphazard natural and man made music.

    The small finches are encouraged, by emulated natural habitat and day light, to go about their routine activities, flying around in the large space, and perching on or feeding from the various pieces of equipment, creating a captivating and live soundscape on the guitars, consequential of their normal movements, preening, strutting, pecking, contrasting with their noisy chirps and tweets.

    Here's a little teaser, but I assure you it's worth visiting yourself.

    © Extracts from Ariane Michel's film, Les Oiseaux de Céleste. Copyright Galerie Xippas, Ariane Michel and Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, 2008

    Fully interactive in that the space is shared with the birds and their instruments, the mumblings of the audience seems to add further still to the organically generated sounds and become themselves part of the instillation. The zebra finch, a sociable bird but one that wouldn't normally bond so well with humans are now incredibly tame, one man had 4 on his foot playing with his shoe laces. I've been meaning to go and see this since it opened at the end of February but am now glad I waited, the birds friendliness added to the interactive experience, I imagine they would have at first been suspicious of those gazing at them and surprised by the noise their perches made.

    The exhibition lasts until 23rd May. Click here to visit the Barbicans website.