Thursday, 5 June 2008

The fashion of art

Last night I went to the preview of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. The dress code was 'glamorous'. Did it live up to expectations? I snapped Grayson Perry looking curiously quirky in a Little Bo Peep number, Virginia Bates looking amazingly svelte, youthful and curiously chic in vintage c.1922 and the utterly charming Erin O'Connor looking curiously cool in tiered and floaty Ashley Isham.

Meantime, five minutes prior to leaving the house I threw together this outfit consisting of vintage Voyage, a cocktail of ruby red feathers and a telephone handbag that is available at ShopCurious (if you are impressed by celebrity endorsements, apparently something that once appeared in an episode of Sex and the City).

Sir Stuart Rose (who hot-footed it from Buckingham Palace) was certainly very impressed by my vintage Dior hold-up stocking shoes - so much so that he felt compelled to run his hand down my lower leg. I'm sure this was only a matter of professional curiosity, though I can't envisage this trend being that easy to sell to the usual M&S clientele.

Then of course there was the art. Counter to the recession and judging by the rapidly burgeoning number of orange dots, the exhibits seemed to be selling very well indeed. I really like the large naked lady canvases - postcard collages Big Blue and Golden Delicious II by David Mach at £25,000 a pop and Julian Schnabel's simply gorgeous oriental lady who was NFS, though a friend mentioned that he would mortgage his house if she were.

There is some intriguing pottery too, like the gigantic tutti fruiti ceramic pot by Kate Malone (below left) - not quite to my taste, but interesting. There are also the usual exhibits guaranteed to elicit a reaction such as the video of a barbed wire hoola hoop (Barbed Hula by Sigalit Landau) and the zebra sex installation by Matt Collishaw (if installation is an appropriate word to use?) curiously entitled 'In the Old Fashioned Way' - the fully functioning mechanics of which were thankfully switched off for the duration of the preview at least.

The food was as arty and alluring as everything else with this messy mushroom melange (left) vying for attention with the scrambled egg in this painting (right).

My verdict: this is a show that is well worth a visit. I will certainly be going back to spend more time exploring the wonderful array of curiosities on offer. Will you?

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