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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Golden Spider Silk and Oscar at the V&A

Hi everyone!
I just LOVE the V&A museum! It's huge, it's free, it shows mostly creative ideas like theatre costumes, fabrics, and statues, and I always find something new there :)

A few weeks ago I went there again as I had to be in the area for my dentist anyway so I went in. Not having any idea what to see this time, I randomly picked an entrance and started walking. By chance I ended up at the Golden Spider Silk exhibition. The V&A website says:

'This display showcases the world’s largest pieces of cloth made from spider silk. It includes a brocaded shawl made from the silk of more than one million female golden orb-weaver spiders collected in the highlands of Madagascar, as well as a cape on public display for the first time. The display also features background material and a short film revealing the process.'

There were some books about spider silk...

Showing the spider itself and also how to extract the silk from the spider

The spools of thread, which remarkably have not been dyed. This is actually the natural colour of spider silk! I was amazed by this really.

The pattern for the cape, made entirely out of spider silk.

The actual cape. It's displayed behind glass so the picture isnt the best, but this cape is truely amazing. The amount of work that went into it is just unbelievable! This has taken many 1000s of hours and several millions of spiders.

There was a scarf on display also but I couldnt get a good picture of it at all. But there is a video of the process of creating the cape below. It takes about 7 minutes but if you're at all into fabrics, you'll find it extremely interesting. I know I did!



After the surprise visit to the Golden Spider Silk exhibition, I moved on...

...and found these shoes in the 'new items' display case. Just some plain old shoes you may think? Nope, think again! These shoes are from 1877 according to the note on the display (not shown here) and were worn by Sir Henry Irving in the title role of Richard III in 1896. The heel of the left boot was raised to give him an artificial limp , the difference in height carefully masked from the audience by a panel of red suede. I love the fact that things like this have been kept all this time :)

After getting lost some more, I found The House of Annie Lennox, all hidden away in the very back of the museum. Sadly the exhibition ended on the 26th of February and I can no longer show you a video of it, but it was a great surprise to find it here. They had an actual miniature house on display where she could come by any time as a surprise guest and sit and talk. There were also original notes, props, and of course costumes *big smile*

Of course I had to photograph some of them :)

Remember this one, from Right By Your Side?

And of course my ultimate favourite. It's purple, it's velvet, it's the best! The purple velvet corset and cloak from No More I Love Yous. Gorgeous!

OMG OMG OMG! Of course my camera chose exactly this moment to give out so I had to try and make a quick snapshot with my BB for this. See this is the whole reason I wanted to go back to the exhibition and then totally forgot about it... But this is the OSCAR that Annie Lennox won for the song Into the West from LOTR - Return of the King which happens to be one of my favourite movies! Needless to say I was ecstatic :)

So even though none of this was planned, it turned out to be an amazing visit to the V&A once again. Hopefully there will be many more to come... Also, I havent forgotten about the February giveaway but the photo area is currently a bit messy so I need a bit more time to take pics. It should be up tomorrow (let's pretend it's still February then!)

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