london: 3 posts

The Wallace Collection

One day Richard Wallace found out two things that changed his life–that he was the illegitimate son of the Fourth Marquess of Hertford and that he was the heir to an invaluable collection of antiques, including paintings by Titian, Frans Hals, and Rubens. He worked as a secretary for the Marquess, but discovering the true nature of their relation was a shock.  When he inherited his father’s collection, the apartment in the rue Laffitte, the chateau of Bagatelle, and the estates in Ireland, he was living in Paris. He married Julie Castelnau, a former perfume seller, and set about taking care of the collection. It was to become his life’s work.

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The Franco-German war of 1870-71 and the uprising of the Commune precipitated his move to London, and that’s where his collection currently resides. What is more, its treasures are available to visitors free of charge; Lady Wallace bequeathed most of the collection to the nation.

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London’s National Portrait Gallery : David Bailey Photography Exhibit

February 2014 still seems ages away, but here is an interesting event to add to your calendar. If you’re in London or planning to visit, the National Portrait Gallery will host David Bailey’s photography exhibit from Feb. 6 to June 1, 2014. Bailey is regarded as one of the most prominent British photographers, and he is well-known for his strong images. His camera captured many celebrities, from Jean Shrimpton to Mick Jagger, from Catherine Deneuve to Kate Moss.

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“Bailey’s Stardust” will feature a selection of 250 images by the photographer himself. It will also include some previously unpublished photographs spanning 50 years of Baileys work.  It’s a fitting tribute for a man who captured the spirit of the 60s.

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Fashion Rules : London’s Kensington Palace Exhibit

If London is your destination this summer, don’t miss the fascinating new exhibition titled Fashion RulesHeld at London’s Kensington Palace, it will allow visitors to take a peek at the royal wardrobes. From the gowns HM Queen Elizabeth II wore in the 1950s to the couture pieces of her sister Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales, it spans several generations of famous dresses.
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“These three women were perhaps the most high-profile dressers of their time,” says the show’s curator, Cassie Davies-Strodder. “Whatever they wore was photographed by the international press and seen worldwide. The influence they had on fashion was bar none, and from a historical perspective, we felt it was critical to highlight that.”

The exhibit will featuring 21 couture dresses, in addition to film and photography. Notice the dress made for the Queen’s trip to Pakistan. Not only is the dress cut modestly, following the customs of the country, it uses the colors of the Pakistani flag. The only question that remains, what perfume did she wear?

Fashion Rules is open now through the summer of 2015 at Kensington Palace in London. For more information, please check hrp.org.

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