With our tickets bought since December, and an invitation to both the Milliners lunch and the Private View of the exhibition (opening party), we decided to go ahead with the trip and not cancel despite of our recent loss.
We had a great time and it was a wonderful privilege to have been invited.
During the Milliners lunch The Hat Magazine took a picture of all the attending milliners, so be on the lookout for that on the next issue. After the lunch we had the opportunity to take a sneak preview at the exhibition and found it even more wonderful than expected.
The exhibition is divided into sections: Inspiration, the Salon and the Client, all around a center section called Creation, that reproduces a millinery workroom (with hat blocks, a conformateur and loads of other stuff, including all the trash -bits of ribbon, straw, thread- that we all tend to accumulate on the floor).
The “private view” party had an attendance of around 800 people and was top notch. The service was spectacular, they kept on refilling our champagne glasses, served oysters, lobster, raw tuna, and many other delicacies that I don’t remember. There were two sweets corners with the most out of this world sweets: macarons, raspberry mini-tartlets, mini brownies, little pots with I don’t know what… well, heavenly. As you an see in the pictures the waiters had a lovely red V&A mini-hat.
Concerning etiquette, the invitation said “decorate your head”. I made a green version of my bird hat for the occasion, and Nina made herself a high comb, reminiscent of the Spanish combs worn with mantillas by knitting raffia and making raffia flowers that she later dyed.
To my surprise NOT everyone was wearing a hat (how can that be?!!!). There were famous people, but I’m not good at that, so I cannot tell you if I saw them… only later I learnt that Manolo Blahnik -hatless- was there, along with some other heavy weights (check the V&A website and check every little bit it: http://www.vam.ac.uk/microsites/hats-anthology/ , there is a video of the opening with interviews).
To see all my pictures follow this link: V&A Hats- An Anthology by Stephen Jones (Set)
Check also these cool pictures from someone else who attended the opening: Hats- An Anthology by Stephen Jones – Opening Party at V&A London (Set)