I have been lucky enough to be spending a few days in London, so as I need to rest my weary foot, it's still not right, I thought I would jump into an Internet cafe and be a real tourist in my own capital!
I have planned these few days so that I could pack in as much as possible and today I share with you my trip south of the river in and around London Bridge.
The Fashion and Textile Museum in London often has wonderful exhibitions and the latest one is no exception, all about Thea Porter, the interior and accidental fashion designer that actually won designer of the year in 1972 jointly with Zandra Rhodes. I don't know about you but I knew her name but did not realise how huge she was until I visited the exhibition, all her clothes designs influenced the '70's in a big way and I found myself saying, yes, oh I remember that and ahhh look!
Anyone who was anyone wanted to wear a Porter creation from Dame Edna Everidge to Joan Collins, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Margaret and Brit Eckland, not to mention, Pink Floyd, some of the members from Police and Mick Jagger. Porter was hot and in demand and her creations cost hundreds and hundreds of pounds, they were not for the faint hearted. She became the darling of Vogue and was in her time the most represented fashion designer the magazine featured. Barbara Streisand commissioned from the little shop in Greek Street a whole wardrobe based on the colour scheme of her home. She wanted a dress for each room of the house, here you see her in orange, the colour scheme of her room and grey which represented the steel mantel piece in there also. Porter did wonder what Streisand would do in the corridors, she was heard to ask her if that is where she would do her quick costume change!
Unfortunately for Thea she was not business minded and was a very generous soul, often giving away her unique garments and with no business head but being read her tarot cards every day and making her decisions based on that, eventually went into liquidation. She did have a brief comeback but was soon diagnosed with Alzheimer and eventually died in 2000 at the age of 73. Porter does however leave a long legacy behind her as many new fashions are based on her ideas, she was one of the first to include exotic far eastern material into the western world and believed strongly that: "Whatever else clothes maybe about, I believe they must add to the enjoyment of life. A dress is a failure unless it gives a woman added confidence. She must put it on, feel great in it, and then forget that she is wearing it and get on with her life." Kate Moss on announcing her engagement wore a vintage Porter dress. Her clothes, style and evocative exquisite fabrics are still in demand today.
Along Bermondsey Street there are numerous cafes, deli and independent shops such as Lovely and British, where only items made and sourced throughout the UK can be bought. I sat out in the sunshine and had my brunch soaking up the London atmosphere and drinking in those April rays.
Walking along there is even some Banksy type graffiti...
Further along from the museum is one of the UK's oldest glass blowing houses, where you can often see them in creation as well as see finished pieces of art in the showroom. Well worth a visit.
Before leaving this area, one would be remiss to not visiting it's famous market, that of Borough market, a feast on all the senses as this is where food is bought and sold and consumed on site. Always a hive of activity. A market has been here for more than two hundred years.
Once my foot has recovered, I shall mooch along and find a quiet spot to watch the world go by with a cup of coffee and crochet to hand...
This will be my last post before Easter, wishing you all well and
see you on the other side of the Bank Holidays here in the UK ♥