Argh, the tourists!
I can therefore confirm that the big trend around the world is cut off denim shorts.
Oh, the horror!
So to try and alleviate the pain, we trotted up to the National Portrait Gallery to see the Glamour of the Gods exhibition.
Needless to say, we were in for an injection of high quality, extra strength cinematic glamour, from times when actors had personality and didn't try and be "normal" (normal? Who on earth is silly enough to want to be normal?).
The quality of the photos - all in Black and White apart from a few exceptions - was exceptional, showing off the incredible talent of the photographers. The light, the shadows, the curves, the angles, the textures!
Unfortunately, as one could have guessed, such an exhibition was bound to attract people only interested in Fame (with a capital or lower case "F"). Hence a few groups of twenty and thirty something people not exactly knowing any of the subjects apart from the usual suspects - Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, although I would bet that they haven't seen any of their movies! - going through the exhibition at high speed without bothering to read any of the captions. One group (one guy, three girls) kept making stupid comments quite loudly and giggling; or this other group of women who were only looking at the female subjects and bitched about their appearance - figure, make up, grooming - JUST WEIRD!
Luckily, these people never hang around too long and go around exhibitions under 20mn, therefore leaving the rest of us to quietly enjoy the photos without the idiotic soundtrack.
The book of the exhibition is dear (£25, ouch!) but wonderful, with full biographies of the photographers, and of course, the unforgettable images they took...
In keeping with the theme of glamour and golden eras, we then strolled down to the South Bank centre for the Festival of Britain festivities and the Vintage Festival. We didn't have tickets for the paid for events but wanted to have a look at the Vintage Market. And we weren't disappointed! We found a plethora of fantastic stalls (too many to name them!) and the sheer amount of them was simply staggering. I wasn't in a clothes-browsing mood and therefore didn't have a closer look at all the wonderful clothes rails on display... We spotted a few interesting designers and makers of handmade vintage inspired goods (nobody makes the same kind of products as Matt ArtPix, so that's good news! ;-)) and came back with several handfuls of business cards and flyers... A lot of Internet browsing to do.
Because this was London, the crowd was ecclectic and colourful, all styles and ages mixed. Such demonstration of originality, vitality and inventiveness can only be applauded, and we hope that London (and maybe Southend, as Jude Kelly, the MD of The South Bank Centre, is also the director of Chalkwell Park based Metal) will be encouraged by this roaring success and develop the idea...
Also at South Bank is The Seaside Land at the Festival of Britain, which is a lovely little marketing effort in favour of Southend! Next weekend will see Southend go over to the South Bank Centre, for more details on this see: http://www.metalculture.com/southend-on-sea/ and scroll down to "Festival of Britain festivities" section.