Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Hats and Nail Polishes- A Grand Day Out

Last Wednesday me, my mum and my godmother had another day out. I don't know if you'll remember but last year we headed to The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, about an hours drive from me to see the Vivienne Westwood Shoe exhibition, well this years major fashion exhibit was by milliner to the stars Stephen Jones, so in possession of our 6 monthly passes we headed south through the beautiful Co Durham countryside.

The exhibition "Stephen Jones - From Georgiana to Boy George" features several of his ultra flamboyant and unusual  hats - I managed to take a few pictures but like the last time the items were in darkened glass cases, and you weren't really supposed to use flash photography... ;)

I really liked the way they used other items from elsewhere in the museum such as porcelain and glass to coordinate, with and show the hats off to their advantage. 

There weren't as many hats as I expected which was a bit of a disappointment but this amazing display certainly made up up for it 

This amazing swan dress is part of former Barnard Castle school pupil Giles Deacon's Spring / Summer 2012 collection. The red swan head dress was made by Stephen Jones for the catwalk show to compliment the dress. It really is stunning in real life, the swan's beak is covered in faceted black crystals. There is also a white version of the dress and head dress which you can see in this months Marie Claire.

Although I think the exhibit could have been a bit bigger, I'm still really pleased that I saw it, the workman ship and effort that goes into the pieces is painstakingly obvious. There were quite a few books on sale in the museum gift shop on fashion, and on the work of Stephen Jones, and Mummy Lou very kindly bought me this one 

Hats An Anthology By Stephen Jones, is basically a history of millinery, as you would expect it features loads of amazing pictures of Stephen Jones' work, but it also features lots of info and  pictures on the history of the hat, and the work of his contemporaries such as Philip Treacy, and on famous hat wearers such as Anna Piaggi and Isabella Blow - It's a really interesting book and it's made me see the hat in a whole new light, especially since my great, great grandmother was a milliner :)

As well as the Stephen Jones exhibit, the museum also had another couple of visiting exhibitions that I really enjoyed, including a wedding dress which was made in 1912 by famous fashion designer of the time, and Titanic survivor Lucile Duff Gordon, The dress was amazing the side seams were covered in tiny pearls, it's really hard to imagine the time and effort that went into making such a piece. 

Apart from the hats though the exhibition I really wanted to see was Complicidades - a photography exhibition featuring Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. The exhibition was fascinating, it was basically a history of their lives together intertwined with the Mexican Revolution and their political leanings - I came away from it really feeling as though I'd learnt something :) 

Another exhibition that I enjoyed included Our Sporting Life, which highlighted the amazing sporting achievements of people connected to the Teesdale and Co Durham areas, on show were Olympic and Commonwealth medals, UEFA cup medals, and the Knighthood belonging to former Durham cricketer Ian Botham. 

I know some people find museums a bit dull but I love learning knew things and furthering my knowledge. Mummy Lou is always a huge fan of the paintings and Canaletto's paintings of Venice always make her well up and remember her trips there with my dad :) I personally love still life's and last year we went to see an exhibition at the museum entitled Painting Flowers - Fantin-Latour and The Impressionists which I loved, the flowers literally looked as though they had just been picked. A lot of the paintings were on loan and have gone now but there are a few remaining including this one, Flowers In A Vase - circa 1870-74 by Henri Charles Guerard, How real do the flowers look? I really loved it so my mum bought me a little postcard to frame for my room :) 

I have to say I always love a trip to The Bowes Museum the sheer natures of the building never fails to impress me, it's so imposing and grand

The grounds are beautiful too with tennis courts and a bowling green, and play areas and picnic spots.

I noticed these little totem poles at entrance to the one of the walks aren't they gorgeous :)

As well as the museum we also had a little look around the town of Barnard Castle :) 

It was market day and there were a few really nice farm shop style stalls, alongside the usual market stalls. 

My and godmother picked a few bits up but I was trying to be good and instead the lovely Mummy Lou bought me a few bits from Boyes and Superdrug including two of the Barry M Chameleon Colour Change Nail Polishes.

On the left is 332 Chameleon Lilac and on the right 331 Chameleon Blue. I've never tried a colour change polish like these before, unlike a lot of them on the market these ones don't react via temperature change instead they change colour when you apply a top coat. I tried Chameleon Lilac with some random drops of topcoat and I have to say I love the effect - it's showing more blue than purple here - sorry!

There was an offer on in Superdrug where you got a free Barry M Retro Nail Paint, with any two Barry M purchases. There were 3 shades to choose from a pink, a red and the colour I went for Retro 2 Blue 

The amazing Mummy Lou also made a tiny little  nail polish purchase for me in North East discount retailer Boyes.

I can't find a name on this polish but it's a silver holographic which is a Limited Edition by Technic. I've seen this polish on ebay going for about £5, but it was only £1.79 :) If you interested in my nail polishes here's a hint you will love my monthly haul post, which should be live next week ;)

We had a really enjoyable day, I love having the opportunity to spend some quality time with my family, and I love it when I can have a proper day out :) Have you got any days out planned? and what do you think of those fabulous hats?

1 comment:

  1. Great post - I will have to check that museum out as looks really interesting! Love the nail polishes too x


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